The Dream Come True, Blue Ridge Chapter telethon ended Sunday night with a total of $70,416 raised for the local wish granting organization. The donations will be used to fulfill dream of seriously, terminally and chronically ill children in the Carbon County and surrounding areas.
The telethon was aired live on Blue Ridge Communications TV-13 and Service Electric, channel 19, in the Tamaqua area.
Hosts for the evening were Nick Hawkey, Dr. Edward Miller, George Roberts and Kristal Schroeder.
The evening was a mixture of great entertainment, visits with some of the children who have had their wishes granted and accepting donations and pledges of donors who raised funds at various events throughout the year. The highlight of the evening was the awarding of Dream Maker Awards to individuals and groups who have consistently supported the organization for three years.
2009 Dream Make Award recipients were Tommy Zito, who has been entertaining at the telethon for many years; Dynamite Woodworking, who donates a portion of the profits from the Haunted Waldorf Hotel to Dream Come True; Mountain Karate Academy, which holds a "Kick for a Cause" fundraiser at Walmart every year; Walnutport Playground Association, which has held baseball games for many years to raise funds for Dream Come True; and Richard Sterner, Irv Good and Steve Holler, who help organize Becky's Drive-In Fundraiser held each year in October.
Certificates of Appreciation were presented to: the band "Foreigner" and Country Harvest Family Market of Palmerton.
Major contributors were: Franklin Elementary School, $1,980.63; East Penn Elementary School, $1,794.72; Technet Comedy Night at Penn's Peak, $6,500; Prom Dress Sale, $3,312; Pencor Services Sausage Stand at the Palmerton Community Festival, $2,957.98; Shoot For a Dream skeet shoot at White Tail Preserve, Hazleton, $$18,286.89; PenTeleData Golf Event at Blue Ridge Country Club, $1555; Pencor Golf Outing, Mahoning Valley Country Club, $700; Becky's Drive In Car Show and Festival, $12,156.14; East Stroudsburg University Linden Hall People Purchase, $650; Free Spirit Buick Chapter of Pa., $1,000; Walmart Grant, $1,000; Foreigner Band, sale of CDs at concert held at Penn's Peak, $2,820; Dynamite Woodworking, Haunted Waldorf Hotel, $2,000; Walnutport Playground baseball game, $2,000; and Mountain Karate Academy Kick At Thon at Walmart, $$2,760. Other donations were received from many other individuals and groups to reach the grand total.
The great lineup of entertainment included Tommy Zito (The Piano Man), who served as the house band. Also performing were students from Mountain Karate Academy, with owners Paul and Rich Maglionico, the band Olde Friends, students from Tricia's Dance Extreme, the Dream Kids, Nicole Donatone, Hailey Hoherchick, 2009 Jim Thorpe Idol; Jeann Andrews, Erin Kelley, Blue Mountain Christmas, Kristal Schroeder, Joe Urban and Robin Drexler, Joyful Noise, a local gospel group; and Sharon Elaine.
Several children who have had dreams fulfilled shared highlights of their dreams, including Sean Miller of Bowmanstown, Voula Kalamaris of Slatington and Terri Meckes of Kunkletown, Jason Wall of Albrightsville, Gwen Turner of Tamaqua and Zak Turner of Slatington.
Eileen Thompson was the telethon chairman.
The Blue Ridge Chapter currently has 14 children in various stages of dream fulfillment.
Credit card contributions will continue to be accepted on the Dream Come True, Blue Ridge Chapter website: dreamcometrue-brc.org.
Telethon sponsors for 2009 are: William G. Schwab Law Offices, PenTeleData, First National Bank of Palmerton, Ackley Advertising, Rentschler Corporation Jeep and Rentschler Chevrolet, George I. LaRose Insurance Ltd., Foster Jewelers, R.F. Ohl Fuel, Kovatch Enterprises, Country Inn and Suites and Jim Thorpe National Bank.
Dr. Miller thanked everyone for their support this year of Dream Come True.
"Everyone was generous even in these tough economic times," said Dr. Miller. "People know that every penny of their donations will go to the children because we are an all volunteer organization."