Manisha Willms, (left) and co-host Chad Mielke (right) with Jake Lowe, talk about the OSNS mascot Otis and the amount raised in the first hour of the Share-a-Smile Telethon. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)

Manisha Willms, (left) and co-host Chad Mielke (right) with Jake Lowe, talk about the OSNS mascot Otis and the amount raised in the first hour of the Share-a-Smile Telethon. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)

South Okanagan Similkameen kids big winners in Share-a-Smile Telethon

The annual OSNS Child and Youth Development Centre Share-a-Smile Telethon once again a success

Organizers of this year’s Share-a-Smile Telethon in support of the OSNS Child and Youth Development Centre are celebrating this week.

OSNS executive director Manisha Willms was especially happy with the turnout Sunday at Cherry Lane Shopping Centre, up considerably from 2018, the first time the event was held there.

“It was definitely busier than last year that’s for sure,” said Willms. “It was just packed and there was lots of energy.”

READ MORE: Penticton’s OSNS benefits from $10,000 RBC grant

She estimated when the final figures are tabulated the results will around $40,000, down from the previous year, but still a huge amount for the programs that benefit children throughout the South Okanagan Similkameen.

“We raised $100,000 from the Cars for Cause event at Area 27 so the overall the fundraising for this year has been great,” said Willms.

She described this year’s telethon as running incredibly smoothly, especially with the work of co-hosts Chad Mielke and Doug Brown, the centre staff and the money volunteers and performers who gave of their time.

“We had just amazing performances during the telethon, to the point where I just had to sit sometimes and watch them,” said Willms.

READ MORE: 40th Annual Share-a-Smile Telethon this weekend

OSNS has worked with children facing development challenges of all varieties since 1978 both at Carmi Avenue centre and through its mobile outreach program in the South Okanagan and Similkameen through education and particularly early education.

Workers see roughly 1,600 families and children annually which usually involves multiple visits translating into 30,000 family contacts a year.


 

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One of the costumed choirs that provided entertainment at the Share-a-Smile Telethon at Cherry Lane Shopping Centre last weekend. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)

One of the costumed choirs that provided entertainment at the Share-a-Smile Telethon at Cherry Lane Shopping Centre last weekend. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)

Members of the Penticton Fire Department man the phones during the recent OSNS Child and Youth Development Centre Share-a-Smile Telethon. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)

Members of the Penticton Fire Department man the phones during the recent OSNS Child and Youth Development Centre Share-a-Smile Telethon. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)