For four decades, the Share A Smile telethon has been helping children and families by raising money for the OSNS Child and Youth Development Centre.
This year, for the second time, people can watch the telethon live at Cherry Lane Shopping Centre, in addition to the live stream starting at noon on Nov. 17.
“Last year we did there and it was a huge success, ” said Manisha Willms, OSNS executive director. “It was kind of a thing where we went ‘Why didn’t we do this before?’ and we’re glad to be back.”
In addition to live performances from local musicians and performers, there will be face painting, a donut wall, balloon animals, and more that is yet to be announced. Performers range from an elementary school choir to an adults’ ukulele group. Penticton Minor Hockey and the Penticton Vees will also be returning, carrying peoples’ groceries and shopping out to their cars in exchange for a donation.
The all-ages event will run from noon to 5 p.m. with the phone banks manned by local volunteers and members of the community.
Last year, the event raised $63,785, all of which went to support the work OSNS does throughout the Okanagan and Similkameen and at the Penticton centre.
As in past years, those unable to attend in person, can watch a live stream at osns.org, and call to donate.
The funds raised through the telethon support the OSNS Child and Youth Development Centre with purchases of equipment and with running youth programs. Last year, over 1,600 children from Penticton and other local communities visited the OSNS.
This year, the telethon is separate from the online auction fundraiser the OSNS runs.
“It’s an awful lot to be doing in one day, so we decided the best thing to do is focus on one thing at a time,” said Willms. “So we’re going to focus on getting lots of people calling in, lots of people live streaming the event to see the acts, and on creating more activities in the shopping centre during the event.”
The online auction is scheduled for spring 2020.