Donations to the Dream Come True, Blue Ridge Chapter telethon trickled in with smaller donations early in the telethon, but when the heavy hitters stopped by with hefty checks, the tote board changed at a rapid pace. The telethon was held Sunday evening at Penn's Peak, Jim Thorpe. It aired live on Blue Ridge Communications TV-13 and Service Electric, channel 19, in the Tamaqua area.
By the end of the night there was cause by celebration when the figure total at $80,840.05 was reached - more than $10,000 higher than last year. Last year the telethon raised $70.416.
Funds raised at the telethon will be used to help this all volunteer organization fulfill dreams for seriously, chronically and terminally ill children in Carbon County and surrounding communities.
Top donors were Waldorf Hotel event, $1,500; Lehighton Area Middle School, $2,930; Free Spirit Buick Chapter, $1,000; sausage stand at the Palmerton Festival, $4,579; Marie Reiner/Wayne Wolfe Golf Outing, $6,100; Allen Warner Poker Run, $1,205; PenTeleData Golf Tournament, $2,120; Shoot for a Dream skeet shoot, $20,150; Becky's Drive In Festival and Car Show, $18,407; Blue Ridge Communications Prom and Gown Dress Sale, $2,277; Ss. Peter and Paul School, $1,074 and Tech Net Comedy Night at Penn's Peak, $6,800.
Throughout the evening there was lots of great entertainment including Tommy Zito (The Piano Man), who provided a never ending repertoire of music. Also performing were students from Tricia's Dance Extreme, the band Red Light Runners, the duo Beer Money, Erin Kelly, Jeann Andrews, Joe Urban and Robin Drexler, the Dream Kids, Angela Nardini and Blue Mountain Christmas.
Zito said that he looks forward to the telethon every year and is happy to help Dream Come True because he believes in the mission.
Hosts for the evening were Nick Hawkey, Dr. Edward Miller, George Roberts and Larry Richards. The hosts assisted with check presentation, introduced the many donors, plus assisted with the interviews of children who had dreams granted by the organization.
Dream Maker Awards were also presented to outstanding volunteers who have served the organization for three years or more. 2010 Dream Make Award recipients were Pamela and Larry Richards, who help organize the "Shoot for a Dream" skeet shoot; George Roberts of Eyewatch News TV 13, and Kristal Nemeroff for hosting the Dream Come True telethon; Julianne Farina, who organizes the Prom Gown Sale, Breakfast with Santa and New York City trip; and DCT board members Debra Lutz and Nichole Herbert; also as part of Becky's Car Show and Festival, Minerva Latshaw, Lehigh Township Police and Lehigh Elementary School sixth grade CSI Committee.
Eileen Thompson, president of the Dream Come True chapter, was the telethon chairman.
Blue Ridge Chapter has had a very busy year. The organization completed four dreams and four more families are set to travel in February/March 2011. There are three children who have been approved for a dream and are in the dream fulfillment planning stage and seven children are in various stages of the dream fulfillment process. Blue Ridge Chapter is 100 percent volunteer and all money raised is used for services to the children.
The organization also provides a scholarship program and currently has two children enrolled. Three more Dream Come True children will be eligible for the scholarship program next fall.