‘Popcorn Kid’ retiring after singlehandedly raising $51k for kids through sales

DOROTHYLongtime employee, Dorothy “Popcorn Kid” Lietha, who is retiring after 43 years, made a difference kernel by kernel.

Lietha, who has worked a variety of jobs but most recently was part of the Wellness department’s efforts in the employee gym, is probably best known for her commitment to the children of Southern Arizona.

Since the early days of TMC’s relationship with Children’s Miracle Network, Lietha has sold popcorn — first for 25 cents a bag, and now 50 cents. Those quarters have added up. The TMC Foundation estimates that she has raised more than $51,000 to benefit area children.

“Dorothy embodies the spirit of this organization because of her generosity and her deep love of this community,” said Michael Duran, vice president and chief development officer. “We can each make a profound difference just by leveraging our individual strengths and passions – and for that, Dorothy is an inspiration.”

If you’d like to honor Dorothy and her commitment to children, consider making an online gift in her name for Children’s Services via the TMC Foundation.

Costco Wraps Up Children’s Miracle Network Campaign

Southern Arizona Costco stores raised more than $102,000 during this year’s campaign for to benefit Children’s Miracle Network.

With every dollar raised in Southern Arizona staying here to benefit local programs for the littlest and most vulnerable among us, the resources help provide life-saving equipment and vital health services for children served at TMC for Children.

Tucson Medical Center has been part of Children’s Miracle Network for nearly 30 years.

“As the biggest warehouse club in the country, Costco’s compassion is matched only by the size of its warehouses,” said Erika Grasse, the director of Children’s Miracle Network. In May, Costco participates in a month-long miracle balloon campaign at all of its warehouses in the United States and Canada, as well as in other creative fundraising efforts, such as an annual tea, shown here.

“We are grateful for the dedication Costco employees showed, as well as for the generosity of its members in supporting our efforts to care for children,” she said.

Headquartered near Seattle, Costco Wholesale has raised more than $137 million for Children’s Miracle Network hospitals since becoming a sponsor in 1988.

This year’s gift will help support the Block By Block, Miracles Happen capital campaign, which funded a $12.5 million renovation and expansion of TMC for Children that included private rooms, state-of-the-art equipment and a friendly environment for kids.

Vonnie Steed, the regional marketing manager for Costco, said the company supports the mission of children’s hospitals.

“We are all touched by what they do and what they offer families,” Steed said, noting hospitals provide a safety net for families most in need.

“Our employees have really embraced it and every year, we just keep doing better and better. It just goes to show what you can accomplish if you’re passionate about something,” she said.

Devoted employee raises more than $30K for CMN, a quarter or two at a time

Dorothy Leitha has been part of TMC for 37 years.

Not only has she been a vital member of the organization, starting off as a housekeeper and moving over to Food Service, she has contributed significantly to Children’s Miracle Network since its inception.

For more than 25 years, in the months leading up to the annual telethon, Dorothy has sold bags of popcorn to TMC staff and donated all of the proceeds to CMN.

Her total popcorn sales, along with a few raffles and now some Dairy Queen Dilly bar sales, has brought in some $30,000 for Tucson’s children. At 25 cents a bag, that’s more than a few pecks of popped corn. And only recently was she convinced to bump up the price to 50 cents.

Her dedication to the children of Tucson, metered out bag by bag, shows how philanthropy can make a big difference at any level of giving.

Dorothy shows that you don’t have to wealthy or powerful to be a philanthropist. Indeed, it’s the effort and the commitment of people like Dorothy that can remind us of the literal definition of philanthropy – the love of mankind.

Dorothy “The Popcorn Kid” Lietha raises more than $2,300

Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Road | Tucson, Arizona 85712 | (520) 327-5461