A grand total of $46,350 was raised during the annual Dream Come True, Blue Ridge Chapter telethon held Sunday night at Penn's Peak, Jim Thorpe.
Everyone at Penn's Peak cheered to see the grand total of donations. Some of the funds were raised throughout the year by local organizations to help the local wish granting organization continue its work to grant dreams to the seriously, chronically and terminally ill children in Carbon County and surrounding communities.
The phones also rang with people watching the event who called in and made pledges.
The telethon was aired live on Blue Ridge Communications TV-13 and Service Electric, channel 90 in the Tamaqua area.
Hosts for the evening were Nick Hawkey, George Roberts, and Kristal Nemeroff.
The telethon featured great entertainment throughout the night and Penn's Peak welcomed the public to attend the event. Many people did stop by, such as Benny Heater and his wife, Carol, who donated a check of $200, which helped build the final total tote.
Tommy Zito (The Piano Man), helped the total climb by donating several three CD packs of his best performances to the organization to offer to donors who pledged at least $50.
Several donors helped push the up the total with large donations. Top donors were: Tech Net Comedy Night, $13.000, presented by Chauncey Hearn; Becky's Drive In Car Show and Festival, $12,500, presented by Rhiannon Rhodes, Brendan Rhoades, Julian Deppe, and Margot Deppe; Sausage Stand at the Palmerton Community Festival, $4,530, presented by Wendy Borger; Seventh Annual Bikers Remembrance, presented in memory of fellow bikers, $3,120; Prom Gown and Bridal Gown Dress Sale, presented by Harriet Visnosky and held last March at Penn's Peak, $2,549; and funds from a Zumba-Thon, presented by instructor Julie Stroup.
Zito was in great form as he entertained with his never ending repertoire of music. Dazzling the crowd with a much more mature voice that seem possible from someone so young was Erin Kelly, 17, who has been singing since she was 3 years old. Also offering solo performances were Joe Urban, Angela Nardini and Arthur Terembula. Both Tricia's Dance Routine and Dance with Kim Studio featured costumed young performers, who were sharing their talents to help other children. Several groups also performed including, Donna Parsons with Frank and Resa Hall and Roger Berger; Joyful Noise, Leaders of the Press, Coal County Express, Becky and the Beasts and Blue Mountain Christmas.
Several children who have had dreams fulfilled were also on hand to talk about their dreams. Sharing their stories were Samantha Bowman, Jana Silliman, Anna Gentile, Voula Kalamaris and Shawn Miller. Also several taped interviews of youngsters who have had their dreams were aired.
Dream Maker Awards were also presented to outstanding volunteers who have served the organization for three years or more. 2012 Dream Maker Award recipients were: Joseph Urban, Blue Ridge Communications TV-13, Bellview Pump Sales and Service, Rentschler Corp., Blue Mountain Kodas; Susquehanna Bank, Walnutport Branch; and Susquehanna Bank, Cherryville Branch.
Eileen Thompson, president of the Dream Come True, Blue Ridge Chapter, organized the event. The organization completed eight dreams so far this year, with six dreams already approved for completion next year. Three more children are also awaiting dream approval.
Dream Come True also offers a Scholarship Program for four years at an accredited school. Eligible scholarship recipients receive $1,000 a semester for a total of four years at an accredited school for a maximum of $8,000.
Dream Come True-Blue Ridge Chapter also has a funeral benefit which helps to pay for funeral expenses. The organization has paid for three children's' funerals since the chapter's inception.
Dream Come True also provides a holiday party and a summer outing for dream recipients. This year they enjoyed a night at the Iron Pigs ballgame with a buffet dinner on the PPL patio.
Dream Come True-Blue Ridge Chapter is 100 percent volunteer and all money raised is used for the children. Anyone who knows a child who is seriously, chronically or terminally ill, please refer them to DCT-BRC for the chance to have a dream. Referral forms can be found on their web site or by mailing a letter to Dream Come True, Blue Ridge Chapter, PO Box 344, Palmerton, PA 18071. Anyone who would like to become a volunteer, should complete the form on their website or call (610) 826-4080.
Telethon sponsors for 2012 were: Ackley Sweeney Advertising, Jim Thorpe National Bank, PenTeleData, George LaRose Insurance LTD, Rentschler Chevrolet/Rentschler Chrysler Jeep Dodge, First Northern Bank and Trust of Palmerton, William G. Schwab & Associates and R.F. Ohl Fuel Oil.