Though it was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 48th annual Ernie Blankenship Memorial Radio-Telethon will be held on Wednesday, June 24.
While local residents will not be able to take part in the event in-person, there are several ways to make a donation and be recognized.
Wednesday’s radio-telethon will be hosted virtually from 7-9 p.m., during which donors make pledges by calling 937-402-5557, by dropping off their pledges at the First State Bank Hillsboro branch’s drive-thru, or by logging onto the event by video conferencing and presenting their donations, which will be broadcast live.
Additionally, donors who are not able to donate during the event are asked to record a short video on their smartphones, video cameras or computers presenting their donations. Videos should be emailed to the Rotary Club to be downloaded and played during the live event. A link to watch the telethon through WebEx can be found on the society’s website at hicoso.org.
Donors should send their checks payable to: HCCSA, P.O. Box 258, Hillsboro, Ohio 45133.
The telethon will be broadcast live from the Hillsboro Orpheum on the Spectrum Community Access TV Channel in Hillsboro, WSRW Radio 1590 AM and 101.5 FM, and WVNU Radio 97.5 FM. Facebook users can also watch the event live on the Highland County Society for Children and Adult’s Facebook page.
“The Rotary clubs felt it was necessary to proceed with the event now as it is unclear when larger social gatherings will be permitted,” said Highland County Common Pleas Court Judge Rocky Coss, now the radio-telethon’s primary organizer, said in a previous interview. “First State Bank, Dale Martin, owner of the Hillsboro Orpheum, and Spectrum had been extremely supportive of planning for the event originally scheduled for March 25 and it is important to recognize and thank them for their help in planning the original event and continuing to work with Rotary to make this event happen.”
First State Bank is hosting this year’s radio-telethon with Hillsboro emcees Rick Williams and Herb Day and Greenfield Rotary Club representative Ron Coffey.
According to a tentative schedule, Williams and First State Bank President and CEO Mike Pell will announce the auction items around 7 p.m. The auction will close around 8:40 p.m., and buyers will be announced at 8:50 p.m.
Since the telethon’s inception in 1973, it has raised over $3 million for the Highland County Society for Children and Adults, which provides help with medical expenses that Highland County residents otherwise might not be able to afford.
Though the first radio-telethon, which was hosted at the former Hillsboro Bank office in Hillsboro, raised $1,715, some years it raised over $200,000.
The society has seen an increase in many local families’ financial need for medical expenses in the past three years and anticipates that increase will continue.
For more information, visit hicoso.org.
Reach McKenzie Caldwell at 937-402-2570.