Annual radiothon lives up to reputation

Cynthia Cantell, Meadow Lake Kinsmen Club member John Marsollier and Alena Ouellette unveil the final total at the close of the annual Telemiracle radiothon at the Meadow Lake Civic Centre March 2.

Cynthia Cantell, Meadow Lake Kinsmen Club member John Marsollier and Alena Ouellette unveil the final total at the close of the annual Telemiracle radiothon at the Meadow Lake Civic Centre March 2.

by Phil Ambroziak

They say miracles only happen once in a lifetime, but for Meadow Lake and area they’ve become an annual tradition.

Running simultaneously with Telemiracle 38 – the Kinsmen Foundation’s flagship charity telethon, which was held March 1-2 in Regina – the Meadow Lake Kinsmen and Kinette Clubs’ 37th annual Telemiracle radiothon once again generated more than $40,000 in pledges and donations from residents across the Northwest.

“The exact total will be announced later this week but – as of the end of the radiothon Sunday afternoon – $41,522 had been raised,” remarked Meadow Lake Kinsmen Club president Randy Wilchowy. “Overall, we’ll probably be looking at more than $43,000.”

The radiothon took to the airwaves at 9 p.m. Saturday and wrapped up at 5 p.m. the following day. Wilchowy said the amount of money generated from the event is typical when compared to past years, noting this year’s total further cements the community’s willingness to get behind a cause it truly believes in.

“I’ve been involved with Telemiracle for the past 12 years and I’m still surprised by how giving everyone is,” he said. “I’m always blown away by how much money we raise. A lot of the other Kinsmen and Kinette clubs throughout the province raise money for three weeks to a month before Telemiracle and then make a donation at the telethon itself. Most of our money is raised the day of our radiothon, yet there’s still only two or three other clubs that are able to donate more than we do. That in itself shows how generous the people from this part of the province are.”

While he couldn’t say for sure, Wilchowy also believes – since its inception – the radiothon in Meadow Lake is responsible to close to $1 million in overall donations to Telemiracle. In turn, the money is used to assist families with a variety of things such as plane tickets and hotel rooms for essential out-of-town surgeries, scooters or vehicle alterations to accommodate for wheelchair access, and the local Handi-Transit bus service. This year’s provincial Telemiracle total was more than $5.2 million.

“If you look at who we are and the people we have in this province, it’s unbelievable,” Wilchowy continued. “Per capita, Saskatchewan raises more money for Telemiracle than any other place in the world does for similar charities. Just looking at it from that perspective is mind blowing.”
Wilchowy went on to commend the many volunteers, as well as the performers and everyone who gave their time to ensure the event would be a successful one.

“These days it’s tough for people to volunteer, so to have so many of the same people come back each year, as well as so many new people, is incredible,” he added. “I want to thank everyone for once again making this such an amazing experience. It was such a great event.”

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