The Comox Valley Child Development Association Telethon raised $131,851 — the second highest total in the 46-year history of the event — Sunday at the Sid Williams Theatre. The money will help fund a capital project to replace the therapy building at 237 3rd St. in Courtenay, which was built in 1913.
CVCDA executive director Cindy Xavier and board president Diane Daigle were speechless by the end of the day Sunday. Since they never set a goal, they look to community members to give what they can.
“We honour and respect that, because we know that especially in these times, things are hard,” Xavier said. “I think there’s a deep vein of generosity in this community.”
She has been told there isn’t a family in the Valley that has not been touched by the organization that supports children, youth and adults with diverse abilities — along with their families.
Daigle said the children she has watched grow up with services are now in their 30s.
“They have a sense of belonging, and that all starts in those early years with intervention and community, and groups,” she said.
Xavier said the therapy building is becoming unmanageable in terms of repairs and space.
“Waitlists are growing longer as more people move into our community, and more kiddos are being born,” she said, noting the importance of providing services in the early years of a child’s life. “We’re responding to that growing need.”
Telethon chair Pam Crowe thanked the community for again coming through and allowing the association to continue its important work.
“They tell us that the telethon is a dinosaur, but we just keep going here in the Comox Valley,” Crowe said.
The telethon was broadcast live on Shaw. Like last year, it was a virtual event without a live audience due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The online auction easily surpassed a target of $9,000, raising $14,216. The 50/50 raffle raised a further $2,000-plus. And like they do every year, members of the Baynes Sound Lions Club pushed a wheelbarrow full of money from Fanny Bay to the Sid. On Sunday, they delivered more than $11,800.
“They started out with $5,000, and they collected the rest as they walked that 32 kilometres,” Xavier said.