45th annual Radio-Telethon sets new “Off air” record
That was the word from committee members following the 45th annual CBC Radio-Telethon Sunday.
When the annual broadcast signed off the air at Manistique High School, a total of $36,402 in bids, pledges and cash donations had been received, with more still coming in at the end of the sevenhour live event.
The impressive total set an offthe air record, while surpassing last year’s broadcast total by $11,891.
According to outgoing CBC Chairperson Mike Powers, when they finish tallying everything up, they anticipate topping the $40,000 mark.
“Last year we raised just over $45,000, and that total included a $10,000 pledge from Manistique Charities. This year we went off the air with just over $36,000, with more coming in. The community has always supported CBC, but they really stepped up this year,” Powers said.
In addition to bids and pledges, Powers said the special events held throughout the community over the past two months played a key role in this year’s success.
“I made a lot of calls, talked to a lot of people over the course of the year, and no one told me no,” he said. “There were several special events held this year that were not held last year, and that really made a difference.”
Powers also credits a last-minute gesture by Kelly George of mBank as key to reaching the Palm Sunday total.
“With time winding down and in need of a little push, mBank challenged supporters with an offer to pledge one dollar for every two, up to a total of $1,000, during the last hour of the telethon. It was a nice way to go off the air” said Powers.
With pledge collections and final tallies still in the works, Powers said work has already begun to prepare for next year.
“Planning goes on all year long, starting with a new chairperson coming on board,” Powers explained. “Once our wrap-up meeting is held, Shelia (Aldrich) will start right away, reviewing suggestions on how to make next year a success.”
He went on to say that with an event of this size, there is always room for improvement.
“New chairs have their own ideas on how to run things, and several suggestions are made that they will take into consideration for next year,” Powers said.
While he admits the annual fund drive would not be what it is without the support of the community, Powers also credits its success to the many behind-the-scenes volunteers who have been there, year in and year out, throughout the 45-years history of the radio-telethon.
“It is truly amazing,” he said. “It starts on Saturday, when they begin to set up. They have been doing it so long, they make it look effort- less. I stand back and try not to get in their way. I thank them all for their support.”
Over its history, CBC has raised a total of $1,451,877.21, not including this year’s receipts.
In 2011, the 44th annual CBC drive generated $45,804.11, with the three beneficiaries, the American continued from A1
Cancer Society, Bay Cliff Health Camp and the Medical Care Access Coalition of Schoolcraft County, each receiving $14,500.
When this year’s pledges are all collected and the final numbers are in, the committee anticipates distributing the funds raised to the three organizations by Memorial Day.