The number of donors who contributed to the Hillsboro portion of the radio-telethon for the Highland County Society for Children and Adults on Wednesday jumped from 264 last year to 310 this year, another positive sign after two years of declining contributions.
The number of people, businesses or organizations contributing to the cause had been on a downswing for the last six years, according to Rocky Coss, the Highland County Common Pleas judge and Hillsboro Rotarian who leads the radio-telethon, named in honor of the late legendary broadcaster Ernie Blankenship.
“We had a decline in that number each year since 2010, so we are happy that increased,” Coss said in an email recap of Wednesday’s event.
As reported in Thursday’s Times-Gazette, $105,866 was raised Wednesday night, up from about $104,000 last year. The uptick reversed two years of declining contributions. While most indicators were positive this year, Coss said that the $9,170 that came from the Greenfield Rotary leg of the radio-telethon represented a decrease of $4,000 from last year.
Angela Shepherd, president of Greenfield Rotary, said Thursday that although donations were down in Greenfield, she appreciated everyone who contributed.
“I’m thankful we were able to raise and contribute more than $9,000 to a great cause and a great event, and we’ll work hard next year to make it even better,” she said.
Of the roughly $96,000 raised in Hillsboro, more than $84,000 was actually received Wednesday, with the rest in the form of pledges. But the radio-telethon has a rich history of complete pledge fulfillment – in fact, it usually exceeds pledges as more donations come in.
Among the larger donations were $15,000 from the Cassner Foundation, $10,000 from Merchants Bank and its employees, $6,000 from Hillsboro Rotary Club, a $5,000 anonymous donation, $5,000 from NCB Bank, $3,243 raised by the annual Chili Challenge and Supper, and $2,000 from Weastec. There were eight $1,000 contributions.
Several items, most of them sports-related, are auctioned during each year’s event. This year those items included a one-year membership to the YMCA and donated by the YMCA, an autographed shirt and hat from Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert donated by Keith and Carol Chambers, autographed baseballs from retired stars Cesar Geronimo, Bert Campaneris, Ron Oester and Rollie Fingers, an autographed photo of Pete Rose slugging his 4,191st hit, which tied Ty Cobb’s record, a photograph of the “Great Eight” starting lineup of the Big Red Machine, autographed by each of the players, and an autographed photo of Ohio State Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer being doused with Gatorade, all donated by Merchants Bank.
Coss said unpaid pledges and additional contributions can be paid by dropping off checks at any of the uptown Hillsboro banks or by mailing them to HCSCA, P.O. Box 258, Hillsboro, Ohio, 45133. Checks should be made payable to HCSCA.
Next year’s event will be at US Bank in Hillsboro.
Reach Gary Abernathy at 937-393-3456 or on Twitter @abernathygary.