Thursday, March 31, 2016

TELEMIRACLE 40

            In last week’s column I had reviewed a number of upcoming events during the month of March but somehow I excluded one of Saskatchewan’s nearest and dearest events. It’s a little annual show they like to call Telemiracle. The Kinsmen Foundation’s Telemiracle 40 was held this past weekend on the 5th and 6th of March in Regina.
            The Telemiracle website states: “Telemiracle is a 20-hour telethon that has raised over $111,000,000.00 over 39 years, more money per capita than any other telethon in the world. All of the money raised at Telemiracle is spent in Saskatchewan helping Saskatchewan people.”
            In addition to the Kinsmen/Kinette Clubs of Saskatchewan’s much needed fund raising abilities, which provide resources to residents with specialized needs for medical services and equipment, the Telemiracle telethons are a great place to showcase some of Saskatchewan’s amazingly talented stars. Both well known and not so well known.
            Over the years there have been many international, national and Saskatchewan’s own performers hitting the stage in both host cities of Regina and Saskatoon. This time around, the 40th version of Telemiracle was hosted by the City of Regina.  
            The Kinsmen Foundation was established in 1971 to manage the money raised by the Saskatchewan Kinsmen and Kinette Clubs. As the demand for dollars far exceeded the funds on hand they felt a larger fund-raiser was needed. Their first idea of a car raffle was kyboshed by the government so instead of a raffle they came up with the idea for a telethon. Apparently, things happen for a reason as “Plan B” turned out pretty darn good, don’t you think?
In 1977, the first telethon raised more than $1 million, which at the time was considered a record for per capita telethon fund-raising in a 20-hour period. The telethon passed the $2 million mark for the first time in 1983, and the $3 million mark in 2001. Telemiracle has exceeded the $4 million mark seven times and $5 million five times, most recently in 2016, and the all-time high of $5,906,229.00 was reached in 2012. 
Over the years there have been many local entertainers and presenters from Kipling, and area, making it hard to name them all and I don’t like excluding anyone but I will mention Calvin and Jennifer Wenneberg’s daughter Cheyanne who performed a great rendition of “Tomorrow” from the Broadway Show, Annie, at this year’s event and Jordan Toppings also performed as he accompanied Regina singer Amy Nelson’s performance. I am sure there were other “local” performers so my apologies to those who I have missed.
Although most of the monies collected for Telemiracles comes on the weekend of the event the Kinsmen Foundation takes donations 365 days a year and if you missed donating to this year’s Telemiracle you can still contribute by connecting to this link: http://www.telemiracle.com/html/donateToday/index.cfm.
 Congratulations to the Kinsmen Foundation on the fantastic success of the past 40 Telemiracles and here’s hoping you’ll make it another 40!

“Sometimes when we are generous in small, barely detectable ways it can change someone else’s life forever.”-Margaret Cho (1968-). 

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