The community has once again stepped up for a great local cause.
The 43rd annual Comox Valley Child Development Association Telethon took place on Sunday, bringing in a staggering $117,719.
This is the second highest amount of money the telethon has brought in, only upstagged by last year’s record-breaking total of $148,008.
Following the eight hour Telethon, volunteers and CVCDA staff alike were shocked by the community’s ability to just keep on giving.
“Last year we had such an amazing telethon – highest total ever. I thought to myself, this is getting to be a really expensive place to live … there’s got to be a limit in terms of what people can share in terms of support for the Child Development Association,” said Executive Director Joanne Schroeder during the Telethon. “And then I see us break 100,000 again and I just think it’s unbelievable.”
Pam Crowe, chair of the CVCDA board and telethon coordinator, said she feels so thankful to live in a community that continues to support local organizations.
“It’s really quite overwhelming,” she said. “It certainly goes to such a great cause and I think that people really want to make sure their dollar means something. The fact that it stays here, the fact that this is a volunteer event and their dollar, their two dollars, their fifty dollars, goes directly to this cause, I just think that’s really powerful and really important.”
The money raised at this year’s telethon will not only go to fund programs and services at the CVCDA, it will also go towards the large renovations of their autism centre.
“We’re creating this fabulous autism centre which will not only provide a safe place for our kids that have autism that require the services, but it will also free up space in our existing building for all our other programs that are just as important and need more space, so it’s a win-win that way,” said Crowe.
She adds that previous telethons have allowed the CVCDA to build up a reserve, and the reserve as well as some of the money from this year’s telethon have made this renovation possible.
“We’re putting it back where we said we would and that’s to make sure the kids with special needs in the Valley and their families will have the services they need. Your dollar stays here and you can see it at work.”
As usual, the Telethon featured an array of the Valley’s talented musicians and performers.
Edwin Grieve was in charge of lining up the performances and made sure everything was running smoothly for the variety of acts. He even stepped up in front of the mic as the last performance of the night.
“It’s not a very challenging job [finding musicians] in the Comox Valley, folks,” he said during the Telethon. “I don’t think there’s very many towns this size that boast so many great musicians of all genres.”
As for the future of the Telethon, Crowe says the number of dedicated volunteers, talented performers and the unwavering support from the Comox Valley leaves her hopeful that the event will go on. She adds that most people in the community have used CVCDA services or knows someone who has, which makes the Association such an important resource to the community.
“We’re going to continue doing it as long as we can,” she said. “Things change – TV changes, the social media thing changes, but as long as there’s an appetite to do it, we will do it because we need to.”