Planning is underway for the 50th annual Ernie Blankenship Radio-Telethon conducted by the Hillsboro and Greenfield Rotary Clubs for the benefit of the Highland County Society for Children and Adults. The Hillsboro Rotary Club broadcast will take place from 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, March 30 at the Hillsboro Orpheum.
This year’s host will be NCB and its employees.
The Hillsboro Rotary Club event will be broadcast live on Channel 13 of the Spectrum Cable System, on WSRW 101.5 FM and WSRW AM 1590. It will also be livestreamed on the society’s website — hicoso.org — and on Tech-t.com’s website. Terry Mikkleson, owner of Tech-t.com will provide the equipment for the broadcast and livestreaming.
The Greenfield Rotary Club event will be broadcast live on the same evening from the McClain High School studio from 7-9 p.m. on WVNU radio and the Spectrum community access channel in the Greenfield area.
This year’s event in Hillsboro will include special recognition of the late Ernie Blankenship, who was the longtime emcee and chair of the Hillsboro Rotary Club Committee and was an officer of NCB from its inception until his death in 2013. It will also recognize all of those children and adults who were poster children or adults for past radio-telethons since the first event that was held in 1973 that are able to attend. Families of those who are deceased are invited to attend in the deceased’s honor.
The committee also plans to recognize the persons who have previously served as executive secretary of the society since its founding in 1950. They are Helen Lowell, Betty Collins, Nina Wharton, Gayle Coss and the recently appointed Patty Day.
The committee would like to host a reception of all available past surviving poster children and adults or family members with NCB staff and media prior to the event. Those who are interested in attending are asked to contact Rocky Coss at 937-364-9039 or Patty Day at 937-393-2142.
Rotarians at both locations will take pledges during the event by telephone or in person. Pledges can be made during the radio-telethon by calling 937-402-5557 in Hillsboro or 937-981-7731 in Greenfield. Any donation, no matter the amount will be appreciated. Checks payable to HCCSA can be dropped off at any local bank or mailed to the society at P.O. Box 972, Hillsboro, Ohio 45133.
The two Rotary Clubs raised just under $95,000 during the 2021 event, all of which is used by the society to provide assistance and services to Highland County children and adults who are unable to pay for expenses for necessary medical treatment, transportation, equipment and other health care devices and services. The total raised by the event over the past 49 years is over $3.95 million. The committee expects this year’s donations will push the total over the $4 million mark.
Information for this story was provided by Rocky Coss, an organizer of the annual radio-telethon.