Radio sales veteran Gord Kidder has passed away less than a week after being airlifted back to Ontario from the Czech Republic. He was 74.
Nearly $100,000 was crowd-funded to make Kidder’s trip back to Canada possible after the former CHUM and Newstalk 1010 (CFRB-AM) account manager suffered a cerebral hemorrhage while abroad in early April. Kidder fell into a coma and never regained consciousness.
Kidder’s daughter, Allison Kidder Naubur, announced on Facebook that her father died Wednesday, saying “his passing was peaceful and painless.”
“I wanted to send out a ‘Thank You’ for the love, support, positivity and kindness sent our way over the weeks while my dad was in the hospital in Prague. I watched all the names pour in on the [gofundme] page of people making donations, messages of support and the sharing of a great many memories. The fundraising was simply amazing. A tribute to the kindness of people, the radio industry and to him,” wrote Kidder Naubur.
“I can never put into words our gratitude for the generosity of so many in helping bring him home, giving us the last days for us to be by his side. We would never have been able to make this happen without the support of so many people.”
Kidder, a partner in Muskoka Information Radio (CIIG-FM) Gravenhurst, ON, was in Europe in early April to take part in ceremonies around the 75th anniversary of The Great Escape. The trip was made in honour of the uncle he is named for, a POW at Stalag Luft III during WWII, who was one of the men captured and shot in the infamous plot. Kidder was on his way home and in the airport when he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage.
With no out-of-country or private health insurance and his medical expenses in Prague continuing to mount, the broadcast community rallied to raise funds to bring Kidder back to Canada. Gary Slaight, president and CEO of Slaight Communications, and former CHUM Group chairman Jim Waters, stepped in to match donations to a gofundme page set up for Kidder, to a maximum of $30,000. More than 500 people, many of whom were former colleagues, contributed to the cause.
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