Pledges and donations both large and small from Individuals, businesses and organizations raised $61,284 for Dream Come True, Blue Ridge Chapter, during the annual telethon held Sunday at Penn's Peak, Jim Thorpe. The telethon aired live on Blue Ridge Communications TV-13 and Service Electric, channel 19, in the Tamaqua area.

While the larger donations raised the tote board with hefty chunks during the evening, it was also a night to recognize those who donated $100, $50 and smaller amounts, which were pledged by adults or children emptying their piggy banks to help the sick children realize their dreams

The larger donations were raised by groups and organizations, such as the 24th annual Becky's Drive In Car Show and Festival which raised $14,000, organized by Cindy Deppe; Shoot for a Dream event, organized by Dr. Ed Miller, which raised $11,308; Tech Net Comedy Night, organized by Wayne Halliday, $10,000; sausage stand at the Palmerton Community Festival, organized by Tim Radler; $4,400; Prom Gown and Bridal Gown Dress Sale, organized by Julie Farina, raised $3,654; Walnutport Playground event by Gary Andrews, $3,500; Bath Bike Event, $2,250; and Dynamite Woodworking, raised during the Haunting of the Waldorf Hotel, $1,000.

Hosts for the evening were Nick Hawkey, Dr. Edward Miller, George Roberts, and Kristal Nemeroff.

Throughout the evening, the hosts thanked volunteers, accepted donations, read pledges and introduced a great line up of entertainers.

Among the volunteers recognized were those individuals who were presented Dreammaker Awards. The Dream Maker Awards recognize individuals who posses a selfless spirt that has helped build moments and big dreams for seriously ill children. Presenting the awards were George Roberts of TV-13 Eyewatch News; and Dr. Ed Miller. Recipients of the 2011 Dream Maker Awards were: Donna Kistler, Wanda Strohl, Craig Ihle, Tim Minnich.

The great line up of entertainment included Tommy Zito (The Piano Man), the band Beer Money; the Dream Kids, Erin Kelly, Kristal Nemeroff, Nicole Donatone, Joe Urban and Robin Drexler, Joyful Noise, Angela Nardini, Jeann Andrews and band, Poetic Justice; Richie Molanero, Blue Mountain Christmas and Arthur Terembula.

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.

Several children who have had dreams fulfilled talked about their dreams. Appearing were Sean Miller, Eli Imler, Sabrina Steigerwalt, whose dreams were to go to Disneyworld and Arthur Terembula, who designed a custom guitar at Martin Guitars.

Eileen Thompson, president of the Dream Come True, Blue Ridge Chapter and telethon chairman, said that Dream Come True has completed six dreams so far this year and that two more will be competed by the end of the year. She also noted that three more children a in fulfillment stages for 2012 and six other children are awaiting fulfillment.

She also noted that the chapter provides a holiday party and organizes an outing at the Iron Pigs baseball game each year.

Telethon sponsors for 2011 were: Ackley Sweeney Advertising, Jim Thorpe National Bank, Country Inn and Suites, PenTeleData, George LaRose Insurance LTD, Rentschler Chevrolet/Rentschler Chrysler Jeep Dodge, First National Bank of Palmerton, Foster Jewelers, Kovatch Ford.

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.