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Dream Come True holds annual telethon Sunday

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    Hosts of the 2018 Dream Come True telethon gather on stage to read the total raised during the four-hour event at Penn’s Peak in Jim Thorpe. They are, from left, Kristal Nemeroff, George Roberts, Dr. Edward Miller and Kim Bell. Scan this photo with the Prindeo app to see a photo gallery.RON GOWER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

Published November 22. 2019 12:46PM


The Blue Ridge Chapter of Dream Come True will hold its annual telethon Sunday night at Penn’s Peak in Jim Thorpe.

Running from 5-9 p.m., the telethon will be televised by Blue Ridge Communications TV-13, on Service Electric Channel 90 in the Tamaqua area, and Channel 96, Atlantic Broadband, in the Weatherly area.

At the 2018 telethon, $85,248 was raised for the chapter with all funds used to fulfill dreams of seriously ill children in the local area.

Each year, Dream Maker awards are presented at the telethon. Dream Maker awards were initiated to honor people, corporations and organizations that have gone above and beyond to assist Dream Come True in fulfilling its mission of providing a dream for every eligible child in its service area.

The 2019 award recipients are:

• Carla Teichert and John Teichert for years of fundraising support at the Palmerton Festival, Lights in the Park, Breakfast with Santa, and the Prom Dress Sale.

• Brian Filchner, Chris Kuhns, Jen Kuhns and Louise Hower for years of support from the Walnutport baseball/softball fundraiser.

• Thomas Oncheck, Todd Latshaw, Michael Rehrig and Ramona Heelan for support of the Lehigh Township Benefit Festival and Car Show at Becky’s Drive-In.

The average dream costs between $7,000 and $10,000, and every fundraising dollar means that much more to the organization.

Four dreams have been completed since last year’s telethon with one currently in progress. Three Dream Come True recipients and their families were sent on Walt Disney World/Central Florida dream trips. The fourth, fulfilled in June 2019, was a music dream made possible in part by Guitar Center in Whitehall. Alexander Baldwin, 15, of Brodheadsville received a keyboard, three different guitars plus an amplifier and accessories for his Baldwin will also be performing at the telethon with his new guitar.

George Roberts, Kim Bell, Dr. Ed Miller and Kristal Nemeroff will host the telethon.

The entertainment lineup includes Tommy Zito (house band), Dance With Kim, The Large Flowerheads, Sunshine Symphony Band, Jupiter’s Arrow, George Roberts and Family, Chris Eckert, Blue Mountain Community Church Band, Erin Kelly, Emily Gonzales and Kaitlyn Day.

Telethon sponsors include Ackley Advertising, RF Ohl Inc., Foster Jewelers, First Northern Bank & Trust, George I LaRose Insurance, PenTeleData, Jim Thorpe Neighborhood Bank, Rentschler Chevrolet/Jeep/Chrysler/Dodge, and Country Inn and Suites.

The telethon is open to the public and free to attend.

People or groups can help make a dream come true in various ways, including making a donation, referring a child, volunteering or holding a fundraiser event for the benefit of the chapter.

Telethon viewers are encouraged to help make a dream come true by calling in a pledge during the telethon to 610-826-9600, or call the toll-free number, 800-585-1240.

Referrals, donations and volunteer sign-ups can all be done at the chapter’s website,

Donations can also be mailed to Dream Come True, Blue Ridge Chapter, P.O. Box 344, Palmerton, PA, 18071.

Qualifying children can come from families of all income levels from Carbon, upper Lehigh, lower Monroe and parts of Schuylkill counties. The children must be between 4 years old and their 18th birthday.

When a child is referred for a dream, a letter is sent to the child’s family, who must give permission for the fulfillment. The child’s physicians then confirm the child’s condition, and two Dream Come True volunteers then visit the child to talk about their dream.

The all-volunteer Blue Ridge Chapter board of directors then names a team to begin the process of fulfilling the dream. The entire process can take anywhere from three months to two years to be completed, depending on the child’s request and medical issues.


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