With late pledges that came in Wednesday night and Thursday morning, the total take from the radio-telethon for the Highland County Society for Children and Adults reached $96,896, and will likely reach surpass $97,000, topping last year’s fundraising total of $96,329.
Since its inception in 1973, the total raised by the radio-telethon is now $3.55 million.
Rocky Coss, the common pleas judge and Hillsboro Rotarian who leads Rotary’s radio-telethon drive, provided those statistics Thursday, calling the overall total “a significant milestone.”
Coss said that the total number of donors to the event was about 270, also an increase from last year by about 15 donors. The event is named in honor of the late Ernie Blankenship, the longtime sports broadcaster called “the voice of southern Ohio” who was the driving force behind the radio-telethon.
The largest donations were:
* Cassner Foundation, $15,000.
* Merchants National Bank, $9,500, plus the donation of two photos for auction which brought $650.
* Hillsboro Rotary Club, $6,000.
* Hillsboro Eagles Club, $5,000.
* VFW Post 9094, $5,000.
* US Bank, $3,000.
* NCB Bank, $2,500.
* People’s Bank Foundation, $2,500.
* Weastec, $2,000.
* First State Bank, $1,500.
* Hillsboro City School groups, $1,498.36.
* ITW, $1,000.
* Bob and Dorothy Hodson, $1,000.
* O’Dell Capital Management, $1,000.
* Big Ernie’s Pizza, $750.
* Edward Jones Investing, $650.
* Fairfield Local Elementary, $571.81.
There were 15 donors who gave $500 each.
The auction items brought a total of $2,525, with the winning bids submitted by:
* Chris Holtmann autographed basketball donated by Dr. Dean Kiesling, $500, bought by Tip Long.
* Ezekiel Elliot Sports Illustrated cover photograph donated by Merchants Bank, $200, bought by Rodney Donley.
* Autographed Archie Griffin mini helmet donated by Dan Pearce, $225, bought by Tim Carroll.
* One year YMCA membership donated by Highland County branch, $300, bought by Darrell Wilson.
* Phil Mikkleson autographed Muirfield map and Ricky Fowler golf ball donated by Dr. Dean Kiesling, $500, bought by Tip Long.
* Urban Meyer autographed photograph donated by Merchants Bank, $450, bought by Rocky and Gayle Coss.
* Eight tickets to Reds v. Cubs game on May 18th donated by John Barney and WSRW iHeart Radio, $350, bought by Keith Chambers.
Of the total raised, $4,357 came from Greenfield’s portion of the radio-telethon, with the remainder raised by the Hillsboro drive.
The event is a joint project of the Rotary clubs of Hillsboro and Greenfield. Rick Williams and Herb Day again served as emcees.
Patrick “P.J.” Norton and Emily Davis served as co-poster children for this year’s event, the third time for Emily. P.J. was unable to attend the radio-telethon, but a big wagon of toys donated by the local Eagles organization and a huge stuffed bunny will be shared between the two.
The first radio-telethon was held in 1973 at the former Hillsboro Bank office in Hillsboro and raised $1,715, according to a press release from the Society.