The 50th annual Ernie Blankenship Memorial Radio-Telethon conducted by the Hillsboro and Greenfield Rotary Clubs for the benefit of the Highland County Society for Children and Adults will take place from 7-9 p.m. Wednesday.
In Hillsboro, the event will be broadcast live from the Hillsboro Orpheum, were NCB and its employees will serve as the hosts. It will be telecast 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.
In Greenfield, the event will be broadcast live from McClain High School. It will be telecast on WVNU radio and the Spectrum community access television 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 those 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.
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.
Several items will be auctioned during the event.
NCB has donated a one-night stay for two at one of three hotels at French Lick Springs Hotel with one round of golf at Valley Springs Golf Course.
Merchants National Bank has donated an autographed picture of Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow.
The Hillsboro Rotary Club has donated a 2014 Ohio State national championship football issued to running back Dontre Wilson. It is autographed by Wilson, Joey Bosa, Darron Lee, Vonn Bell, Curtis Samuel and numerous other players and coaches.
Crowe Financial has donated a basketball autographed by Jerry Lucas, a member of the Ohio State NCAA champion basketball team, two-time National Player of the Year, Olympic Gold medal winner, NBA Rookie of the Year and member of the NBA Hall of Fame.
DQ Grill and Chills of Wilmington and Mt. Orab has donated a baseball autographed by Tony Perez, a member of the Cincinnati Reds Big Red Machine World Series champions.
The Cincinnati Bengals have donated a package of various memorabilia including a poster, season program and a Cincinnati Bengals hat autographed by tight end Mitch Wilcox.
John Barney of iHeart Radio has donated four tickets to a Keith Urban concert to be held on July 16 at Riverbend Music Center.
The Cincinnati YMCA has donated a one-year family membership to the Highland County Family YMCA.
Bids may be placed in person or by calling 937-402-5557. Bidding will close at 8:45 p.m.