Easter Seals Telethon Total Revamp Due To COVID-19

Easter Seals Telethon

After much deliberation and consideration, this year’s Easter Seals Telethon’s live show has been cancelled for the first time in 37 years, to be replaced with a pre-recorded special on Shaw Spotlight.

“It is a difficult time right now because of the COVID-19 virus, but, bottom line, the children still need our help,” emphasized Carolyn O’Connor, Easter Seals Development Officer.  “Not having a live event to tell the kids’ stories makes our fundraising effort much tougher, but this community is so generous, I am hopeful that Sooites will help us to meet our financial goals by donating and/or by buying tickets for our first ever 50/50 draw.”

The traditional live Telethon with panelists and hosts scheduled for Sunday, March 29 will be replaced by a repeating one hour pre-recorded special that features the stories of local Easter Seals kids and their families. Easter Seals Ontario has helped hundreds of local children and youth with the purchase of essential mobility equipment, accessibility equipment, and communication devices. Children from Sault Ste. Marie have also greatly benefitted from attending Easter Seals’ fully accessible summer camps, both partially and fully subsidized by Easter Seals Ontario.

The Easter Seals Telethon raises roughly $100,000 each year, and is the largest fundraiser locally in support of children and youth with physical disabilities. The Telethon committee is asking the citizens of Sault Ste. Marie and area to come together this year in new ways to help kids be kids.

Easter Seals kids still desperately need the support of our community. In 2019, 47% of Easter Seals families requesting assistance had an annual household income under $40,000, which can easily be the yearly cost of raising a child with a severe disability.

“This was a hard decision to make,” shared Angie DiGasparro, Telethon Chair, “we have to look out for the welfare of our team, panelists, volunteers and the public, especially our Easter Seals kids who have conditions that weaken their immune systems. We are grateful to our community for years of support and hope that we can still count on YOU under our new temporary format.”