Christmas telethon to feature acts over past three years

·2 min read

The 74th annual Lions Children’s Christmas Telethon is going ahead despite not being able to host live acts.

Canadore College’s media arts students are compiling highlights of the past three events to produce a four-hour virtual broadcast Sunday, Dec. 5 from 4 to 8 p.m.

“We suspect there will be a lot more families in need,” said Gary Verge, telethon committee chairman. He’s with the Bonfield Lions but the fundraiser involves 11 clubs, including Mattawa, Callander, Powassan, Trout Creek, Sundridge, South River, Burk’s Falls, Kearney, Arnstein and Restoule.

“We could use $30,000,” Verge said of their target to receive from pledges and donations to buy turkeys, hams and gifts for kids for close to 400 families overall. Each club also adds in boxes of food to go with the initial basket “to help make it last a few meals.”

In Bonfield for example, he said about 20 families each year get a little extra support heading into a holiday season that often strains already thin household budgets.

Usually, the long-standing telethon runs nine hours lives with artists corralled in line as the performances are rotate through the stages, something that couldn’t be done this year due to COVID-19 pandemic health protocols.

“We’re also trying to put together some Christmas entertainment featuring local talent,” Verge said of the dual mandate of igniting the spirit of the season. “But all those acts hanging around up at the college is not a good idea this year.”

It’s also “excellent experience” for the Canadore students, he said, hoping they can return to the live show next year.

The 2020 telethon can be seen on YourTV Channels 12 and 700, through the website; or listen on Country 600 CKAT Radio.

To donate, call 705-472-4420 or 1-844-888-4420.

You can also make a pledge online or use PayPal at

Dave Dale is a Local Journalism Reporter with LJI is funded by the Government of Canada.


Dave Dale, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,