Pictou County Christmas Fund Telethon

Telethon back for 48th year

For more than four decades, volunteers have been coming together to present the Pictou County Christmas Fund Telethon which is held to help ensure local families in need are able to enjoy a Christmas dinner with all of the trimmings.

And this year is no different.

The annual Pictou County Christmas Fund telethon will be taking centre stage for the 48th consecutive year.

And a new year is bringing several changes for the fundraiser.

The most exciting change for the organizers is a new website designed by Lucas Technology & Analytics. By visiting pictoucountychristmasfund.ca, visitors to the site will be able to learn about the organization, view photos of past events, listen to the telethon live and most importantly, donate to the telethon online.

This year’s event will also see a change in venue; it will be held Sunday, Nov. 27, for the first time ever at the Pictou County Wellness Centre. This location change was necessary due to scheduled construction at the deCoste Performing Arts Centre in Pictou, which has hosted the event for the past few decades, that have closed that facility.

The event will run 1-6 p.m. upstairs at the Wellness Centre and will feature virtual performances by the Carillon Singers, African Nova Scotian Performing Arts Group, Miss Carla's Dance, Steeltown, Brian & Brenda Bowden, E.B. Anderson, and many more.  Viewers can tune in to Eastlink Community TV channel 10 to watch the show.

Co-chairs Monique Sobey and Debbie VanSickle say this virtual format is due to the continued presence of Covid in the community. Hosting the event live will be the familiar faces and voices of Ann MacGregor with Alex Theriault of Q97.9.  Morning Breeze host Emma Freckelton will be providing live updates from the site throughout the day on 94.1.

And for the third year in a row, there will be no registration dates for those needing to access help. Instead, the Pictou County Food Bank will be distributing the gift cards, making sure they get to those in need.

Those who honour their pledges on or before December 5 will be eligible to win one of about a dozen fabulous early bird prizes generously provided by local merchants; draw date is December 6 at the offices of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Pictou County in New Glasgow. Pledges can be honoured at any local bank or credit union in Pictou County, or in New Glasgow at the offices of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Pictou County on MacGregor Street or Atlantic Insurance on Provost Street, or Advocate at Brown’s Point Road in Pictou.

Donations can be made during the telethon by calling 902-695-2585, by visiting pictoucountychristmasfund.ca or through the organization’s Facebook site, Pictou County Christmas Fund telethon.

Last year, more than $62,000 was raised during the five hours of the telethon. This year, no financial goal has been set.

“Our goal is to help as many families as possible,” says Sobey.

“We know the need is greater than ever this year with Covid, unemployment, inflation and more,” adds Van Sickle. “People are being challenged like never before.”

For the volunteer organizers, as well as those who watch and listen to the show, the annual event is the unofficial start of the Christmas season.

“Residents and the business community are always very generous in their support of the telethon and we hope they will continue to recognize the need and support us,” Sobey encourages.