The community rallied behind the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Sunday, raising a record $6.4 million during the 29th annual CHEO telethon on CTV Ottawa.

The telethon, held since 7 p.m. the night before at the CE Centre, gathered $6,448,260 in pledges and donations for children across the region.

"They made it feel like such a fun place, it was almost normal to go there," said one volunteer who's been getting treatment there. "My mom used to tell me to be good or I couldn't go to CHEO."

"The day she was diagnosed they started working on a treatment (for her disease)" said the parents of Kate Drury, a little girl with a mitochondrial condition so rare it didn't have a name when she was diagnosed.

CHEO president Alex Munter said they have to focus on more than just the children.

"It's the child as the patient and the parent as the client, the parent is the one that knows their kid best," he said. "We support the whole family."

That money came from places like Glebe Collegiate Institute's neighbourhood canvassing campaign ($17,389), a bonspiel at the Shawville Curling Club ($4,420) and a punch-a-thon at a local gym.

Last year's telethon raised a record $6.3 million, with over $77 million coming to CHEO since 1984.