A total of $88,556 was raised Wednesday during the 49th annual Ernie Blankenship Memorial Radio-Telethon for the benefit of the Highland County Society for Children and Adults held at the Hillsboro Orpheum.
But there are still chances to increase that total the society uses to provide assistance and services to Highland County children and adults who have extraordinary expenses for necessary medical treatment, transportation, equipment and other health care devices.
”I anticipate that this total will increase as it normally does over the next few days,” event organizer and Highland County Common Pleas Court Judge Rocky Coss said. “We also have two grant applications pending with foundations that normally support us. Last year’s total was $99,800. However, that total included a one-time donation of $7,500 from a dissolved charity that donated its remaining funds to the event, so the total last year without that was $92,300. We should come close to that when all donations are in. We did see an increase in the total number of donors from 182 last year to 201 this year.”
Coss said donations can be sent HCSCA, P.O. Box 258, Hillsboro, Ohio 45133; or dropped off at any branch of Merchants National Bank, NCB, First State Bank or Southern Hills Community Bank.
The largest donation of the night was $15,000 from the Cassner Foundation. Merchants National Bank donated a total of $10,000, the Hillsboro Rotary Club donated $6,000, AmVets Post 61 donated $5,000 and VFW Post 9094 donated a total of $3,450 with an intention to make monthly donations the rest of the year, Coss said.
Southern Hills Community Bank, in addition to hosting this year’s event, donated $2,500. NCB, which will be the host for the 50th anniversary event next year, also donated $2,500. Weastec donated $2,000, and last year’s host, First State Bank, donated $1,500.
Several items were up for auction during the radio-telethon. Those items and those who purchased them were:
* A three-day stay at the Kiefer family cabin in Gatlingburg, Tennessee and gift basket sold for $1,200 to Phil and Katie Burwinkel.
* A football autographed by Ohio State Football Coach Ryan Day sold for $1,000 to Eric “Tip” Long.
* A set of three autographed photos of OSU stars Archie Griffin, Jerry Lucas and Jack Nicklaus sold for $800 to Rocky and Gayle Coss.
* A one-year membership to the Highland County YMCA sold for $350 to Tammy Wells.
* Baseballs autographed by former Cincinnati Reds Tony Perez and Johnny Bench each sold for $225 to Keith Chambers.
* Tickets to a concert by the group Chicago sold for $150 to Laura Salome.
* Tickets to a Beach Boys concert sold for $100 to David Mayer.
* Tickets to a Jason Aldean concert for for $100 to Robert Mootz.
* African Wildlife Safari family passes sold for $75 to Patty Reinholz.
* A Cincinnati Bengals ball cap autographed by Bengal Geno Atkins sold for $50 to David Mayer.
* A Cincinnati Bengals pennant autographed by Bengal Sam Hubbard sold for $50 to Ron Coffey.
The event is put on each year by the Rotary Clubs in Hillsboro and Greenfield.
“The Rotary Clubs thank Southern Hills Community Bank for its excellent job as a first-year host and all of its employees that helped with serving food and planning the event,” said Coss, who is also a Hillsboro Rotary Club member. “Thanks to Dale Martin for donating the use of the Hillsboro Orpheum for the event, James Scott for helping set up the event, Terry Mikkleson and his Tech-T Productions crew for providing the video and audio feeds for the broadcast, the Hillsboro Community Access Channel and the city of Hillsboro, iHeart Media and WSRW AM 1590/101.5 FM, WVNU 97.5 FM, the Highland County Press, The Times-Gazette, hosts Rick Williams and Ron Coffey, and all of the Rotarians that helped during the event and helped solicit donations.”
The Highland County Society for Children and Adults works in conjunction with other local government and private agencies to provide financial assistance to Highland County residents who have medical expenses not covered by insurance or other programs.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.