TeleMiracle 47 Wraps Up

TeleMiracle 47 Chair Scott Lamb said, “We’ve all seen the difference TeleMiracle makes, we’ve all known someone touched by a Telemiracle story…” and after 47 years that’s not a long stretch. For many in the province, it has almost become a family tradition to tune in to the yearly telethon and watch the totals grow as the province pulls together to support their own. Continuing on with the theme generated for the 2022 telethon, Rooted in Saskatchewan. Explaining why TeleMiracle 47 chose to use the same theme, Lamb said TeleMiracle is a staple in Saskatchewan culture and it’s things like the Roughriders, bunnyhugs, and Vi-Co that root you to this province. Another thing that speaks to the culture of this province is the simple act of volunteering.

It is the volunteers that make so much of what happens in this province run smoothly. Whether it is minor sports, service groups, or music festivals, volunteers of all ages repeatedly give of their time to get things done like Yorkton’s George Flunder who has volunteered at over 35 TeleMiracle events. Or like the late Ray Kneeland who over the years raised over $600,000 for Telemiracle. Kneeland who passed away in December 2022, was the owner/operator of the OK Corral, located just north of Martensville raised money through a wide variety of fundraisers such as trail rides, rodeos, gymkhanas, raffles and more. The highest single total he brought in one year was an incredible $47,000.00.

Again this year, Nutrien stepped up to match all donations made to TeleMiracle through the Saskatchewan Talent performers, up to a maximum of $100,000, and combined with Nutrien’s own fundraising, the total of the cheque presented Sunday afternoon was $108,182.00.

The final total recorded at 5 pm Sunday $ 5,519,229.00 with nearly one million of that coming from the estate of someone who once called Wakaw home. Pauline Pawlyshyn passed away in April 2022 at the age of 102. She was born on the family farm at Wakaw and married her husband Mike in 1947. They operated the Empire Grocery in Prince Albert for 39 years and kept a cabin at Wakaw Lake. Pauline left a generous $800,000 gift to TeleMiracle.

Since its inception in 1977, TeleMiracle has raised over $157,000,000 helping Saskatchewan individuals and organizations alike, because as paralympian Lisa Franks said, “You never know when your life can change in a minute.”

Carol Baldwin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wakaw Recorder