ESTEVAN - United Way Estevan Telethon is set and ready to roll towards their goals.
The fundraiser will start on Oct. 15 and will run for 33 hours. The theme of the year is TEAM – Together Everyone Achieves More.
"It's going to be another exciting year for our 45th annual telethon. Our goal this year is $345,000. And all our efforts are going to be put into reaching that goal by the end of the weekend, October 16. However, it's also going to be a very exciting year for milestones," said United Way Estevan president Danny Ewen.
United Way Estevan is currently at about $9.8 million for all their fundraising efforts throughout the 53 years the organization has been a part of the community. And it seems that at some point Saturday morning or early afternoon they will surpass the $10 million milestone of total dollars raised by the United Way Estevan.
"Obviously, every dollar counts. But when you hit milestones like that, it really drives the point home of how impactful the United Way Estevan has been for our community over the past half-century," Ewen said.
All money raised in Estevan throughout the years has been put back into the community.
"Every dollar of almost 10 million has gone right back into the community to make lives better for people who need it in one way, shape or form or another. So that's why we love being a part of the United Way Estevan board, is because we know that the work we do, we see the results of it with our own eyes," Ewen said.
Everything is ready to go, and the board is excited for the telethon.
"Obviously, there's always nervous excitement right before every telethon because we know we got a big task ahead of us and we have 33 hours to get it done. But that nervous excitement brings the best out of all of our board members and our community. So it's something that we're looking forward to every October," Ewen said. "There's been a lot of work going on behind the scenes over the past year. But we are pretty much ready to go and put on another great show for our community, raising money."
Every year when United Way Estevan sets their fundraising goals, they have to keep it high enough to be challenging but still realistic. This year with the ongoing pandemic and other challenges the community is facing, they also had to be conscious of those factors. But Ewen said the community has always surprised them in their generosity.
"There's been events in Estevan specifically in the past, where the whole community was severely impacted, whether it's economically or whether it's with natural disasters, like floods and things like that, where we were genuinely concerned that we won't be able to get as many donations because of all these events happening. Every time that happens, it always seems like the community steps up, and those are some of our biggest years that we get donations," Ewen said.
"It just speaks to the community itself, both businesses and individuals, they recognize how important United Way Estevan is to our community. And they know that if they're going to donate to something, it's going to be to our telethon because they'll see the results."
He added that the support the United Way receives from the Estevan community is "unique." United Way Estevan operates in one of the smallest communities in a sense of the population they cover in comparison to other branches' service areas. Most other branches operate in cities or bigger regions, and the local branch works just with Estevan and the nearest communities.
"It is, I think, something that is unique to our community that we do receive such significant support and we're able to fundraise the dollars that we are. Because proportional to larger United Ways and larger cities, we are one of the strongest ones in receiving donations for our community. So that just, again, speaks to the people. We're grateful for that and we're hoping for it again," Ewen said.
The telethon will start on Oct. 15 at the Royal Canadian Legion Estevan Branch Hall. The 33 hours will be filled with great local entertainment.