The Cottage Children’s Hospital and Children’s Miracle Network Telethon, which aired Saturday and Sunday, raised an estimated $525,000 to support services at the hospital.

The annual event focused on the needs of critically ill infants and children. The final fundraising total will be announced at the end of June.

Every dollar raised in the area during the Children’s Miracle Network broadcast will remain in the area to help patients hospitalized at Cottage Children’s Hospital.

New to this year’s telethon broadcast was the Student Talent Show, which featured pre-taped music and dance performances from local junior high and high school students. During telethon weekend, those watching the program at home or at the hospital were able to participate in “text voting” on their cell phones to vote for their favorite performances.

The winning performance was the Rockin’ Pop Kids with Brooke Wallace on vocals. Wallace, a 12-year-old student at La Colina Junior High School, was a recent patient at Cottage Children’s Hospital. Her story was featured during the broadcast. The band also includes Claudia Riveroll, 13, of La Colina Junior High on lead guitar; Fabio Rodriguez, 11, of Peabody Charter School on bass, and Marco Rodriguez, 13, of Santa Barbara Junior High on drums.

Pledges from viewers continued the 20-plus year tradition of community support, which has helped build a range of neonatal and pediatric services for local children. These include Santa Barbara County’s first neonatal intensive care unit, the region’s only pediatric intensive care unit and the only pediatric cancer program between Santa Barbara and the Bay Area.

Three key clinical staff members from Cottage Children’s Hospital served as telethon co-chairs and led the efforts of the weekend broadcast. They included Dr. Steven Barkley, medical director of the neonatal ICU, Dr. Curtis Pickert, medical director of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unite and Acute Pediatrics Unit, and Liz Lundquist, nursing director of Children’s Services.

— Maria Zate is Cottage Health System’s marketing and public affairs manager.