This Sunday, Nov. 5 at noon, the lights will come up at the Sid Williams Theatre to launch the 42nd Annual Children’s Telethon in support of services provided by the Comox Valley Child Development Association. Every November since 1977 the community has come together to celebrate – to celebrate diversity, to celebrate local talent and to celebrate the spirit of our community.
After over 40 years, the planning for the Telethon is “tried and true”. Nonetheless, the day is the culmination of several months of planning by a volunteer committee, led by Pam Crowe, the CVCDA’s Board Chair and long time Telethon Coordinator. Content to stay in the background, Pam has put in hundreds of hours over the years and typically spends the night before the Telethon hand writing scripts and notes for the show’s MCs.
Of course, the entertainment is the star of the show and planning for that has also been led for decades by the multi-talented Edwin Grieve. The Comox Valley is home to a plethora of local talent and the Telethon has always been committed to using local artists to fill the entertainment roster. Edwin plans a schedule that draws on long time favorites and adds a sprinkling of emerging talent each year. On the day, you will find Edwin managing back stage from start to finish of the show.
Other key volunteers include Shirley Reynolds who makes sure the phones are ringing and people are there to answer them; Lorraine Aitken who coordinates all volunteers on the day of the event; Linda McLean, another long time volunteer who pitches in wherever and whenever she is asked; the Burgesses, whose generations have “womanned” the donation table since the 1980s; and Donna Lynn Wilson who this year is co-ordinating the onsite silent auction.
On the technical front, Shaw employees, led by the irrepressible Gord Darby, volunteer all of their time to produce and direct the show, typically spending over 24 hours from set up early Saturday to take down late on Sunday night. Shaw TV donates all of the production equipment and air time to make the show happen. For those who can’t access the live TV feed, My Tech Guys, led by the tireless Bob Wells, provide a live on-line stream of the broadcast that can be accessed at www.cvcda.ca
The MCs also volunteer their time. Being an MC is not an easy job. Schedule changes, unpredictable children and equipment malfunctions among other things contribute to making this a very complex task, all while on live TV. Sue Finneron, Helen Austin, Gayle Bates and Kenny Shaw handle this with seeming ease, demonstrating the warmth and good humour that exemplifies the event.
Over the years, there are literally thousands of other volunteers that make the Telethon happen. Entertainers, ushers, sandwich makers, ticket sellers, money counters, phone answerers, chili chefs, and many more. In addition, there are more than 100 businesses and individuals who contribute goods and services to make the Telethon a reality. It is indeed an illustration of the generous spirit of our community.
The Telethon runs from noon to 8 p.m. this Sunday, Nov. 5. Entrance to the theatre is free and the audience is encouraged to cheer loudly and stomp their feet to acknowledge the great talent. If you can’t make it to the theatre, there are several other ways to take part.
• Go online now and bid on one of over 50 Silent Auction items https://www.3 2auctions.com/cvcda. The Silent Auction will also be live at the theatre if you want to view the items in person.
• Make a donation, this can be done by phoning 334-9200 on the 5th of November or anytime before or after the event at 250-338-4288 or www.cvcda.ca
• Buy a ticket on the Deluxe Raffle Basket with over $3,000 worth of goods and services
• Buy a ticket to win a flight for 2 anywhere West Jet flies.
All proceeds from the Telethon stay right here in the Comox Valley to support children and youth with special needs and their families. The Comox Valley Child Development Association supported over one thousand children last year, through its thirteen different programs. Funds from the Telethon are needed by the organization to sustain all of its programming. This year, any additional funds raised will go towards the new Autism Centre to be built in 2018.
“It is still magical, even if you know how it happens.”
(subject to change)
Legion Colour Party
Georgia Strait Big Band
Danette Bell Dancers
Just in Time Jems
Comox Valley Children’s Choir
Genevieve and Family
Coast to Coast
Sparks, Guides, Brownies, and Pathfinders
Dolyna Ukrainian Dancers
Sweet Santa Fe
Tammy Fassaert and Michael Johnson
Laurie Tinkler Modern Dance
Laurie Tinkler Highland Dance
Foots in the Ocean
Triple Heat Dance
Kenny and Brian
Doing it for the Kids Finale!