Kinsmen and Kinettes TeleMiracle fundraising in full swing leading up to 44th telethon

Smitty's staff in Prince Albert pose with their helping hands. This is the first year Smitty's will be hosting the TeleMiracle pancake breakfast. (Marcus Abrametz/Submitted)

Prince Albert’s Kinsmen and Kinette clubs are fundraising for TeleMiracle 44 to serve the province’s medical needs.

The telethon—taking place in Regina on Mar. 7 and 8—is run by Kinsmen and Kinettes throughout the province to raise money for medical equipment and travel costs.

“A lot of families are challenged to travel if they need specialized medical attention which is only available in other provinces. Of course, the travel costs come out of their pocket,” said Kinsman Marcus Abrametz.

“Any support with the club helps us give back to the community. Our motto is ‘Serving the community’s greatest need,’ and with fundraising we’re able to do that,” added Alysha Shillington of the Prince Albert Kinettes.

One of the local fundraising events is the pancake breakfast. This year, it’s taking place at Smitty’s.

“It was kind of our idea and they didn’t even hesitate. They just jumped on board and said ‘Yes, we’ll do this,” Abrametz said about Mark and Owen Walters, managers of Smitty’s.

The public can come to the restaurant on Friday, Mar. 6 from 8 to 11 a.m. and purchase a $5 plate of pancakes, sausage and coffee or juice. The pancake breakfast fundraiser has been donating to TeleMiracle for the past 40 years.

Additionally, TeleMiracle Night will take place at a Raiders home game in early March. Abrametz said they plan on raffling off autographed photos and jerseys.

The local Kinettes club brought in $16,000 from their Duelling Pianos fundraiser that took place on Feb. 8, according to Shillington. However, members aren’t sure how much of that money will be donated to TeleMiracle.

“We plan on giving a generous donation—we always do,” she said.

Members brought in the Famous Ivory Club Duelling Pianos of Edmonton. Two people, experienced in all genres of music, will play a specific genre until someone pays for them to play something else.

“Say somebody requests country and you don’t like country, you can pay, which is kind of the donation side of it, you can pay to have them stop playing country and they will play up the crowd,” explained Shillington.

“Every evening is different because it totally depends on what the crowd is requesting.”

Shillington said the fundraiser has been sold out in each of the four years they’ve been doing it. This year, they had over 250 people attend.

Locally, the Kinettes support Children’s Haven, Hope’s Home, the Victoria Hospital Foundation, the Food Bank and Jessy’s Garden. They’ve also donated shoes and winter clothing to both public and catholic schools, and ‘adopted’ two families in the city for Christmas last year.

The club also donates to Cystic Fibrosis Canada.

“Any support with the club helps us give back to the community. Our motto is serving the community’s greatest need, and with fundraising we’re able to do that,” emphasized Shillington.

An ongoing TeleMiracle fundraising initiative is Helping Hands. The clubs will drop off paper hands to businesses willing to contribute. Its customers, for a dollar donation, are able to write their names on a paper hand and the businesses can display them.