The 38th annual Children’s Telethon easily settled back into its old home this year at the Sid Williams Theatre, according to telethon co-ordinator Pam Crowe.
The telethon raises funds for the Comox Valley Child Development Association, which provides services to Comox Valley children with special needs and their families. The eight-hour event had been held at the Old Church Theatre for the past 15 years, but moved back to its previous home this year, and raised over $77,000. Though funds raised are down a bit from last year’s total of $83,000, Crowe is very pleased.
We’re “totally thrilled,” says Crowe. “We know that the Comox Valley always supports and always gives what they can. I know that the economy in the Valley is not always the greatest and there’s lots of businesses that are suffering and people who are working away — we’re absolutely thrilled with the support.”
The telethon was shown live on Shaw TV and live-streamed on the CVCDA website, thanks to My Tech Guys. This year, Crowe had hoped more of the community would physically show up Sunday to fill the larger space of the Sid Williams Theatre.
“They did (come to the theatre), they really did, and I think the central location helped,” says Crowe. “It is a televised show but everybody likes to have smiling faces to perform to, and I really think the community did show up — and they showed up with their money and they showed up with their support in the theatre.”
Crowe adds telethon organizers have already booked the Sid for the next two years’ telethons, and plan to stay there into the foreseeable future.
“That’s our new home,” she says. “We certainly feel like we’re home and that’s where we’re going to be.”
A few of the many performers who donated their time to create eight hours of live entertainment include Helen Austin, Sue Medley, Keisja Cox, Luke Blu Guthrie, Susie McGregor, Fiddlejam, Rainbow Youth Theatre and Valley Dance.
Crowe also says the silent auction was a huge success, as were the two raffles. The raffle basket, which featured $2,500 worth of local goodies, raised $7,800.
“It’s over $1,500 more than last year,” says Crowe. “So that was a huge, huge money-maker for us, and we’re so thankful for the merchants that contributed to the raffle basket and also to the people who bought tickets because that was just a huge amount for us.”
Some big cheques were presented by various community service clubs, and Crowe notes the show was kicked off with a $10,000 donation from the dental community, which was spearheaded by Shoreline Orthodontics.
“All around, we were ecstatic about the way it went and of course, we were so thankful for the volunteers that help out,” says Crowe noting volunteers include performers, tech support and the people who manned the phones, among many others.
The CVCDA serves over 800 children and their families each year via a wide array of programming. The Ministry of Children and Family Development covers the wages and benefits of CVCDA staff, but the CVCDA covers all operational costs using fundraised dollars.
For more information about the CVCDA, visit visit www.cvcda.ca or the CVCDA Facebook page.