Ring those phones, ring those phones!! The familiar chant that can be heard over and over during the annual 20 hour Kinsmen Telemiracle.
Well ring those phones is exactly what residents of Saskatchewan and neighbouring provinces did, to the tune of over $4 million dollars! $4,635,768 to be exact!!
This years total exceeds the 2010 total by over $600,000 and 2010 was an increase of $200,000 over 2009. Telemiracle 35 overtook Telemiracle 34 for second spot, behind 2007’s total of $5,604,682!
As with every year, the Coronach Kinsmen and Kinettes hosted a variety of events, contests, raffles, etc. to raise money for their provincial association. This year, they made more than they can ever remember making. The group presented $30,741.35 on-air during the telethon.
Gary Duncan, lifetime member of the Kinsmen, did the on-air presentation on behalf of the communities. He talked about the total raised. “It feels damn good! It’s pretty exciting to see all of the money being raised and what it’s done for people. My favourite part is listening to the entertainers at the end when they talk about what we’ve done. It is touching what they say.”
The Kinsmen and Kinettes got their fundraising efforts going with a cabaret in February.
The Kinettes finished up with a hot dog sale at the school.
The Kinsmen raffled a pair of Roughrider Season tickets and gathered pledges for one member to have his back sugared and one member to have a hair cut and shave.
The Kinsmen and Kinettes also helped out at the annual Fife Lake Telemiracle Auction at the end of February.
The Kinsmen also gather personal and organizational donations and issue receipts for the same.
The Coronach School also gets into the spirit of things, with the SRC hosting a number of things, including selling hands, collecting change, bake sales and this year a contest that involved two male teachers. Vice-Principal Terry Sand and teacher Robert Berner challenged the students to raise money to have them shave their beards and wear a dress. The men donned the dresses and shaved their faces on Thursday, March 10, after the students raised $1,322.44.
To wrap it all up, Kinsmen and Kinettes that were available traveld to the annual telethon and volunteered for the event.
This year, 14 Kinsmen, Kinettes and family members volunteered in various capacities.
Terry Sand worked in the Treasury Department. Michelle Jones-Sand, Alicia Menke and Karlie Wilson worked onstage with the Saskatchewan talent. Jodie Molsberry worked in souveniers and the remainder, Todd Wilson, Giselle Wilson, Gary Duncan, Lorna Menke, Trent Nystrom, Keith Adam, Sharon Adam, Randy Weiman and Kelly Elder worked on the phones.
The telethon runs from 9 p.m. on Saturday evening until 5 p.m. Sunday and requires hundreds of volunteers on four shifts.
The majority of the Coronach contingent worked from 6 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Sunday.
The phone crew took turns between the phones that took credit card calls, the onstage phones and the backstage phones.
Lorna Menke, secretary of the Kinettes, has volunteered at the event since the Kinettes first chartered in early 2000. She was thrilled once again to be a part of it. “I was impressed with our (Coronach and Fife Lake’s) total. I think it was our highest total ever. For the size of Coronach and Fife Lake and our communities, we brought in a large amount in comparison to communities much larger than us. It made me very proud to be from here and to be a part of raising that money. We appreciate everyone’s support of all of the various events,” said Menke.
As well as the volunteers, Jacky Swart from Coronach performed a number of times throughout the night. Coronach residents were thrilled to watch her singing to the inhouse and television crowd.
The telethon began in 1977 when it raised over $1 million dollars, considered a record for per capita telethon fundraising in a 20 hour period. At the time, Saskatchewan’s population was 1 million.
After 35 years of the annual Telemiracle, the province of Saskatchewan, as well as people from all over Canada, continue to support this telethon.
Since 1977, the Kinsmen have raised nearly $90 million.