Over the years, the fundraising projects of the annual Easter Seals Society of PEI were numerous. Island Rotary clubs worked hard on many fronts to fundraise for Easter Seals. For many years the “Every Household” mail campaign was the most successful project. In 1980 it raised about 50% of the total campaign revenue but by 2002 it had to be discontinued. The returns no longer warranted the cost of the mailings. It was known that Islanders still wanted to support local programs that help people with disabilities but that old style mail campaigns had clearly seen their day. It was time for a change of emphasis.
From 1960 until 2010, another fundraiser was a local Easter Seals Telethon hosted by Rotary. Initially it was known as the “Timmy (or Tammy) Show” and then as the CBC Telethon. Until fairly recently it was considered to be just one of a many small Rotary projects, each raising money for Easter Seals. With the demise of the mail campaign, the emphasis shifted to the Telethon making it the major focal point of the PEI’s annual Easter Seals campaign.
- In the Telethon event, the pledges of the viewing public that evening are combined with the results of all other fund-raising activities, and the results are announced at the climax of the show as the campaign grand total. The Telethon is a three-hour program produced by the CBC Television at the Confederation Centre of the Arts. It is produced before a live audience with entertainment provided by a variety of artists. Most of the entertainers are Islanders who enthusiastically lend their support to the worthy cause. The Telethon features our Island’s Easter Seals Ambassador who represents the children helped by Easter Seals. In recent years co-hosts Bruce and Matt Rainnie have joined the Ambassador to present the Telethon to the viewing public.
- The Telethon is made possible through the generosity of the management and staff of the CBC, Confederation Centre, Aliant, Timeless Technologies, corporate sponsors and the efforts of many Rotarians.
- In putting on the Telethon there have been a few challenges along the way. In 1989 and 1991, there was uncertainty as to whether the CBC would be able to host the Telethon but the difficulties were overcome and the show went on. In 1999, Island Radio came to the rescue when a labor conflict at the CBC forced the cancellation of the TV program. Inspite of the challenges, public support has remained.
- The Telethon gave Islanders an opportunity to show their public support for the Easter Seals Society of PEI and the programs that help fellow Islanders living with disabilities.
Now in 2012, we are on the horizon for a new and exciting direction for fundraising. New ideas for a major event are being considered and 2012 should bring the introduction of this most anticipated fundraiser and community celebration.
Look for new information, as it is discovered and introduced… here on the website.