Another record-breaking year for the Kinsmen Telemiracle!
March 3 and 4, 2012 saw the broadcast of the 36 annual Kinsmen Telemiracle across the CTV Network in Saskatchewan. People were also able to tune in on the internet or through satelite television.
When the broadcast began at 5 pm Saturday, few would have imagined breaking the record of $5,604,682 of 2007, but that is exactly what happened.
When the clock struck 5 p.m. on Sunday, the total for Telemiracle 36 had climbed to $5,906,229!
What took this year’s total over the top, was a bequest from Roy Wudrick, an Aberdeen-area farmer, who left a bequest of $1.4 million. Roy’s son, Arejoy and his wife Tova, announced the donation, on-air, around 4 p.m. Sunday, bringing tears to the eyes to many. Dozens of emotional posts popped up on Facebook immediately following the announcement, showing the effect the bequest had on viewers as well.
Arejoy explained that his father had watched and supported the Telemiracle since it began and when they sold their farm in 2008, he told his son he wanted the proceeds to go to Telemiracle.
The elder Wudrick passed away early in 2011 and Arejay waited for their next Telemiracle to announce his father’s wishes, which also appeared to be a surprise to Arejay’s wife.
Following the shocking announcment, host, Bob McGrath signaled a silent “knock-down” , a first ever, in memory of Roy.
The annual telethon saw its start 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.
The totals have been on the rise over the last number of years. The 2011 total saw $4,635,768 go into the coffers for the Telemiracle Foundation, second only to the $5,6 million of 2007.
Since 1977, the Kinsmen have raised $96.5 million!
According to the Telemiracle website the Kinsmen Telemiracle Foundation assists hundreds of people every year, on an individual basis and through organizations that we have provided with funding... with every dollar coming directly from donations to Kinsmen Telemiracle. Lorraine Duxbury, charter member of the Assiniboia Kinettes that just celebrated their tenth anniversary, is the Zone representative on the Foundation Board. “This is my 3rd year on the foundation board. First, as the district appointee and now two years as zone represenative. Sitting on the foundation is without a doubt one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.” Duxbury is in charge of all of the applications for this district. The applications are sent to her, she reviews them and then represents each of these applicants at the Foundation meeting. “For our applicants, we are their advocates in the meeting. So, the more we know about their application, the better! With (the applicants), we go through their financials, find out why they need funding, talk to their occupational therapists, and help get quotes for their equipment.”
As well as representing the applicants from her district, she also helps make the decision about the other applications. “We question the rep to make sure that money is spent only on individuals who truly need it.” concluded Duxbury.
Ten members of the Coronach Kinsmen and Kinettes, attended Telemiracle 36 in Regina to volunteer.
Terry Sand was part of the Facilities Crew for the weekend. Sand got busy on Friday setting up for the event, and when the bulk of volunteers headed home Sunday evening, Sand and his crew still had take-down to complete.
Terry’s wife, Michelle Jones-Sand also had a busy weekend, helping with set up on Friday night then manning the souvenier stand over the weekend.
Keith Adam, Lorna Menke and Greg Reaves were part of the Security team that put in long hours during the telecast. With only a few hours of rest, the team kept an eye on the building and its occupants.
Karlie Wilson and Alicia Menke were on the Saskatchewan Talent crew. They helped organize the performers that were part of the Saskatchewan talent for the weekend. The girls went to work at 7:30 pm, Saturday and only managed to get a few hours sleep between 1:30 and 5:00 am, before heading back for Sunday’s shift.
Giselle Wilson, Pam Pifko and Kelly Elder worked from 6 a.m. till noon, Sunday, on the phone lines and then worked the remainder of the day in the Treasury department adding up the pledges as they came in.
The weekend wrapped up with a supper and speeches in the basement of the Arts Centre.
Wilson, Pifko and Elder made an on-air presentation of $25,211.73 on behalf of the communities of Fife Lake and Coronach.
The bulk of the money came from the 19 Annual Telemiracle Auction at the Fife Lake Hotel which brought in $17301.00.
The remainder was raised by local Kin, who hosted a number of fundraisers with the proceeds going to Telemiracle.
The annual telethon alternates locations between Saskatoon and Regina, and was in Regina for the 2012 telethon.
The Telemiracle was hosted by a number of Canadian celebrities including Beverly Mahood, Brad Johner, Donny Parenteau, Jimmy Rankin, Bob McGrath, Andrea Minard, Victoria Banks, Leah Daniels, Codie Prevost, Jeffery Straker, The Heart Broken, featuring the son of John Allen Cameron, Stuart, and Honeymoon Suite.
Throughout the weekend, nearly 50 performers from across Saskatchewan were invited to perform for the television and in house audience. Over the years, a number of local people have performed as part of the Saskatchewan talent. Karissa Hoffart from Minton, was the only performer from the surrounding area.
The Bengough High School volunteered for the “Tote-Board”, which means they took a shift putting up the numbers for the ever-changing total for Telemiracle at the back of the stage.