Easter Seals Telethon in Peterborough raises $101,000 for children with disabilities
The Peterborough Easter Seals Telethon broadcast remains the longest-running program in the city.
Originating on CHEX Television in the early 1960s, the telethon is now produced by YourTV in Peterborough and airs on that station as well as Global Peterborough. The telethon raises funds for children with disabilities.
Producer Marcus Ferguson says it’s the longest program the station has but the length means nothing to the volunteers.
“We have our volunteers come in and they’re here from 9 a.m. to do a run-through and here right ’till 5 p.m. on their feet and it’s a long day,” he said. “But the energy is really high and keeps everyone going and it comes around 4 p.m., and we’re going, ‘We’ve got an hour left — I can’t believe it’s going so fast.'”
One of those volunteers is former CHEX TV anchor Graham Hart, who has been hosting the telethon for 45 of its 47-year run. Hart retired from Global Peterborough in April 2018 and returned to the air on Sunday as the telethon host.
WATCH: ‘It’s a part of my life:’ Graham Hart reflects on 45 years as Easter Seals telethon host
“First of all, it’s great fun to do this telethon and it always has been,” he said. “But we also constantly think about the children who are supported by this Easter Seals Telethon and it’s remarkable and we get to meet them and see what they do and see what they can do which otherwise they couldn’t do without the support of the Easter Seals campaign.”
Global News Morning Peterborough co-host Teresa Kaszuba has been part of the Easter Seals broadcast for 13 years, interviewing Easters Seals families.
“It’s a pleasure and an honour to be asked back and to have someone put all of this into your hands,” she said. “And to have these kids and their families tell you what it really means when you support Easter Seals and Easter Seals supports them.”
The goal for this year’s telethon is $80,000 which will go to help pay for services for clients. Easter Seals Ontario senior development officer Coralie Jacobs says the telethon is a vital part of their fundraising campaign.
“Because it’s one of the avenues that we use to increase awareness for the Easter Seals families so it’s a chance to sit down, take our time, and tell the stories of the families who receive funding from Easter Seals and the true difference it does make in their lives,” she said.
She said a key component in making that difference are camps where participants spend 10 days among children like themselves. Last year, 763 children attended camp.
The 2019 telethon which aired 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. raised $101,000 – well over the goal of $80,000 set for the day.
And with events throughout the year, the campaign wrapped up with $667,000.
WATCH: Profiling the faces of Easter Seals in Peterborough
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