Update: As Sunday’s Share-a-Smile Telethon wrapped up Sunday, organizers were thrilled with the total-to-date of over $72,000. Executive director Manisha Willms rasied her arms in celebration as centre staff, volunteers and others gathered on the set.
The 37th annual Share-a-Smile telethon in support of the OSNS Child and Youth Development Centre is underway. Hosts Dennis Walker and Mare McHale kicked off the event along with the centre’s executive director Manisha Willms at noon with the fundraiser running through to 5 p.m. “Every year this blows me away about what a team effort this is and just how much support we receive,” said Willms during a break in the show. “This telethon is so critical to raise the money we need to keep the centre in operation.”
Last year the event raised in excess of $50,000. With the recently expanded services the centre provides the need for funds is even more important according to Willms. OSNS helps over 1,200 children with developmental needs in the areas of of the South Okanagan-Similkameen both at the Penticton facility and through the mobile outreach program where therapists travel to visit their clients. Again this year there is an online auction component where people can visit the OSNS website and bid on the hundreds of unique products and services donated by local businesses. Shaw TV is broadcasting the telethon live on channel 11 and it is also being streamed live on the centre’s website, OSNS.org.