Well, Saskatchewan, we’ve done it again. Some might call our accomplishment unbelievable but in a province where people dream big and work hard, anything is possible. Telemiracle 40 proved this once again by raising over $5 million and shattering all records in the process.
As former Kinsmen and Kinette members, my husband and I had the good fortune of participating in the very first Telemiracle back in 1976. Forty years ago two community-minded individuals proposed holding a telethon so that money could be raised to help those with special needs who might require some assistance. Peter Kilburn and Urban Donlevy (an old friend of ours) were the creators and driving force behind the first Telemiracle. Sadly, Urban passed away in the summer of 2015, but what a legacy he has left behind. Despite the resounding success of that first telethon many did not dare to imagine that it would still be going strong 40 years later.
Over the years Telemiracle has become part of the very fabric of this great province. Say the word Telemiracle to anyone who has ever lived in or had a connection to Saskatchewan and he or she will immediately know exactly what you are talking about.
First of all, the fund-raising efforts that occur right across this province are truly amazing. Corporations, businesses, schools, seniors’ homes and so many others embrace the challenge to raise money for this worthy cause. The time, ingenuity and commitment that goes into these efforts never ceases to impress me.
In response, our citizens (among the most generous and compassionate people anywhere in the world) not only support these fundraisers but also donate their hard-earned cash. Saskatchewanians get it – we know that by coming together and pooling our resources we can profoundly affect people’s lives in positive ways.
Add to this some home-grown talent which was simply topnotch this year plus the many hardworking volunteers and you have the ingredients for another successful telethon.
But it is always the personal stories of those facing adversity that for me is the focus of this annual event. Their stories are not only touching but also inspiring. By providing special equipment or medical technologies or the means for families to be together, hope is restored and lives are transformed for those facing adversity.
Telemiracle epitomizes all that is good and honourable about this province and its people – one of the reasons that I am proud to call Saskatchewan home!