Masset’s big telethon this weekend

  • Nov. 24, 2003 8:00 a.m.

Masset-Haida Lion Bob Brown has been making a list, and checking it twice, and finding out that residents of northern Graham Island are very, very nice indeed.
They’ve already donated lots of items to the Masset Haida Lions Telethon, and Mr. Brown is expecting even more donations to pour in before the telethon takes place this Saturday (Nov. 29).
The telethon, an annual event in Masset for the past 23 years, brings the community together for a special cause – raising money to help the Lions Easter Seal House in Vancouver, where people visiting for medical reasons can stay at low rates. Children receiving medical treatment stay for free.
“I’ve heard it said that it’s the most successful telethon in BC, on a per capita basis,” said Mr. Brown, who is overseeing the event this year. “It’s due to the generosity of the town.”
The event is televised live on the local station, MHTV. Residents can tune in to their TVs or come down to the community hall and watch it unfold in front of them. Each donation – from handknit hats and mittens to a jersey signed by every member of the Vancouver Canucks – is described, then the bidding starts, with people phoning in their offers. After a set time – from 15 minutes for smaller items to several hours on the larger ones – the highest bidder wins it.
In between, there’s entertainment, including dancers from Old Massett. Around 2 pm, Santa Claus will be making an appearance.
It’s great fun for all, and it results in thousands of dollars going straight to the BC Lions Easter Seal House in Vancouver (in fact, this telethon has raised more than $380,000 over the past 22 years). And there’s a direct benefit for islanders: last year, residents of the Charlottes stayed for almost 200 nights at the Easter Seal House.
Another highlight this year is the raffle for a complete Pentium 4 computer system with all the bells and whistles. The Lions are already selling raffle tickets at $5 each, and they will be available all day Saturday. The winner’s name will be drawn Saturday evening, Mr. Brown said.
The telethon starts at 10 am Saturday and could last until the early morning hours Sunday, depending how many donations the Lions receive. Donations are still welcome, right up until the end of the telethon, and all islanders are welcome to watch, either in the community hall or on television.