Telethon starts Saturday at 10:00 am

  • Nov. 28, 2008 6:00 a.m.

Thousands of dollars worth of items have already been donated and more donations are pouring in as Old Massett and Masset prepare for the 2008 Masset Haida Lions Telethon, which kicks off at 10 am Saturday (Nov. 29). The annual telethon raises money for the local hospital and provides a fun opportunity for islanders to bid on auction items while enjoying local entertainment. Bret Johnston, chair of the telethon organizing committee, said fundraising efforts got a head start with Old Massett donating $2,375 raised at last weekend’s Don Burnstick show. Money raised at the telethon is mostly spent locally, with a small portion directed to the Easter Seal House in Vancouver. Mr. Johnston said the Lions ask hospital staff for a “wish list” and then try to fund as many items as they can. Top of this year’s list is a defibulator/ventilator for the hospital. Mr. Johnston said local artists, businesses and individuals have once again been incredibly generous and the telethon will be a great opportunity to pick up Christmas gifts. Donated items include artwork, power tools, a computer system, video games and hockey jerseys. Volunteer Jack Thorgeirson said there is a super Canucks package which will be auctioned off Saturday evening, made up of two tickets to a Canucks game, a room at the Rosedale Hotel, and two return tickets to Vancouver from Pacific Coastal. Mr. Thorgeirson said the community’s donors include a five-year-old boy, who raised money by returning pop cans, then had his mom buy seven children’s outfits at Fields and donate them. “We have a really good cross-section of stuff,” Mr. Thorgeirson said. “It’s going to be fun – hairy, but fun!” This year’s entertainment includes Haida dancers from Old Massett, and a woman doing a stand-up comedy routine, Mr. Johnston said. Old Massett resident Wendell Williams will be walking from Port Clements to Masset on the day of the telethon, gathering pledges along the way and ending up at the community hall. There will be a concession at the hall run by the Masset Eagles Swim Club. “We usually have a good crowd all day long,” Mr. Johnston said, welcoming everyone to come out to the community hall Saturday to enjoy the festivities, or watch them on MHTV channel 41. “And we have so many volunteers… We’ve had people that have been doing the same job for years, and it just makes it so great.” If you would like to donate anything to the telethon, it’s not too late. Contact Mr. Thorgeirson at 626-3671.