Waban’s 47th annual telethon

SANFORD – The 47th Annual Waban Telethon was held on Saturday, March 17, at the St. Ignatius Gym on Riverside Avenue in Sanford. The Telethon was sponsored by the St. Thérèse of Lisieux Parish. Individuals, businesses, clubs and organizations once again came together as a community in support of Waban to raise $95,562!

It was a St. Patrick’s Day celebration with donors, volunteers, visitors and entertainers gathering to kick off activities at 10am. The Returnables band opened the Telethon with some upbeat rock ‘n roll on the stage. Guests and viewers enjoyed the children from Fraser-Ford Child Development Center as they performed an adorable rendition of Old MacDonald’s Farm, complete with costumes and pictures. Ben Guillemette and his band of fiddlers gave the Irish flavor needed for the day, and musical groups, To Be Determined, Brian Wardwell, Pretty Girls Sing Soprano, Joe Sailor, Long Road Home and MECA kept everyone  entertained throughout the afternoon.

Dancers from Steppin’ Out Dance Centre and Northern Explosion Dance Studio added sparkle and energy with over 80 dancers performing jazz, hip hop, lyrical and clogging routines. Waban staff members Libby Ricker and Bonnie Leslie received the Waban Making a Difference Award for their committed and passionate service to Waban. In the community category, the Waban Making a Difference Award was given to the City of Sanford and graciously accepted by Tom Cote, Mayor of Sanford.

Mayor Cote expressed thanks to Waban in conjunction with the city’s 250th anniversary celebration and stated that, “The City of Sanford should be giving Waban an award for all the great work that Waban does for the children and adults of our community.”

The Telethon was produced by Cremmen Creative and broadcast by Metrocast/Atlantic Broadband, simulcast on The Legends radio 1220 AM and 102.3 FM and live-streamed via a link on Waban’s webpage. The phone bank was provided by TPx Communications and staffed by volunteers from Southern Maine Health Care, SIS Bank, Kennebunk Savings and the Altrusa Club. This year’s hosts were long-time volunteers RJ and Jim Legere, Kim LaChance from SMHC, and Waban’s Melissa Hall joining Neal Meltzer and Gervaise Flynn, Waban’s Executive and Deputy Directors. Some of the larger donors were:

“Pennies for Waban” – Doris & Val Grondin $ 8,000 ($4,000, which is matched by GE)
Evonik $ 3,500
Metrocast/Atlantic Broadband $ 2,500
St Thérèse of Lisieux Parish $ 2,100
PATCO $ 2,000
O-N Enterprises $ 2,000
St. Thomas Knights of Columbus $ 1,322
Marc Motors $ 1,160
AlliedCook Construction $ 1,000
American Security Alarm $ 1,000
Aroma Joe’s $ 1,000
Bonanza Steakhouse $ 1,000
Corning $ 1,000
Garnsey Brothers Insurance $ 1,000
Gorham Savings Bank $ 1,000
H A Mapes $ 1,000
HM Payson $ 1,000
Hussey Seating $ 1,000
Kennebunk Savings Bank $ 1,000
Maine State Knights of Columbus $ 1,000
Pratt & Whitney $ 1,000
Sanford Flooring $ 1,000
SIS Bank $ 1,000
Springvale Knights of Columbus $ 1,000
Springvale Social Club $ 1,000
St. Matthew Parish $ 1,000
Williams Foundations $ 1,000

Central Furniture contributed beautiful living room furniture, BBQ Grills, vacuum cleaners and other items. Landry’s Furniture Barn donated a leather recliner for the raffle, a sofa, recliners and more. Many other businesses made donations of goods, services, and gift certificates, too numerous to mention, that were instrumental in making the Telethon such a huge success.
Kenny the Bear from Kennebunk Savings Bank, and Broose D’Moose and Boomer from the Sanford Mainers, gave high fives and hugs to children and adults alike. The activity tables had free bunny ears and shamrocks for the children to decorate and
Shain’s of Maine brought a freezer full of Seadog Biscuits. Over a hundred gift baskets and donated items filled the gift tables for attendees to peruse and purchase for a pledge.

Callers and visitors made personal donations, purchased raffle tickets and enjoyed the food provided by the Knights of Columbus and donated by local restaurants and shops. Enjoying a quick lunch break of a pizza delivered personally by Jimmy Gatzogiannis of Sanford House of Pizza, Waban Executive Director Neal Meltzer said, “Waban is exceptionally grateful and
appreciative for all the tremendous support we received from all the volunteers and donors both before and during the Telethon. These funds will be used to help support our children’s services, contribute towards the capital campaign for the Autism Therapy Wing, and be used in fundraising for some new playground equipment.”

Through the 47 years of its existence, Waban’s Annual Telethon has raised a total of $2,511,125, which has benefited the children’s programs of Waban with critical services and programs. Many thanks to all of you who have helped that total grow!