Saskatchewan residents dipped into their pockets to raise more than $5.5 million for the Kinsmen Foundation during the 44th edition of Telemiracle in Regina.
Telemiracle has now raised more than $140 million since it was first held in 1977. Telemiracle 44 chair Jesse Shkuratoff said it was thrilling and humbling to see that level of support from Saskatchewan residents.
“Once again, Telemiracle brought our province together,” Shkuratoff said in a media release. “The impact of these donations will be felt across Saskatchewan.”
Prince Albert’s local Kinsmen Club raised and donated $17,342 to Telemiracle, while the Prince Albert Kinettes raised roughly $15,000. PA Kinsmen Club president Jon Fraser echoed Shkuratoff’s sentiments, thanking Prince Albert residents for their generosity in tough times.
“It’s another amazing year, especially with how this country is going, especially with the province being down and not having much for economic growth right now, that the province is still able to generate $5.5 million going back towards the people who need it the most,” he said.
All proceeds from the 20-hour telethon will go towards specialized medical and mobility equipment for Saskatchewan residents, as well as assistance with medical travel. The Kinsmen Foundation typically receives more than 1,000 applications for assistance annually.
“These are your neighbours,” Fraser said. “These are people in everyday life that need (help). Without the foundation, they may not be able to regularly afford this.”
The Kinsmen Club’s $17,000 donation was slightly higher than last year’s contribution. Fraser said they’re hoping to increase that number again in 2021.
“We always want to donate as much as we can,” he said. “Next year we’re looking to do a lot more local fundraising for this, and get as many community partners involved as we can.”
A total of 80 Saskatchewan performers appeared at the telethon, and during the Countdown to Telemiracle pre-show streamed live on Telemiracle’s YouTube channel.
Next year’s Telemiracle show will take place in Saskatoon from March 6-7. Details will be posted at www.telemiracle.com.