The 32nd annual Communithon was deemed successful for the Weyburn and District United Way. A 33-hour televised fundraiser was held at the Weyburn Comp Cafetorium on Friday and Saturday.
At the end of the 33 hours, it was announced that $124,417 was raised, but donations were still being processed. The goal set by the Weyburn and District United Way was $140,000.
“I felt that Communithon went very smoothly,” said Karen Kennedy-Allin, co-chair of the Communithon. “The calibre of the entertainment that we had this year was just phenomenal.”
“Also, having it streaming online was just awesome. We were almost reaching a world-wide audience,” said Kennedy-Allin. She utilized that live-streaming to watch some of the Friday entertainment, since that same day Karen was in Winnipeg teaching some physics workshops.
“I know we were only at $124,000, and it is a little bit below our goal, but I know that Weyburn will keep giving,” said Kennedy-Allin. “What I love about the Communithon is that it makes Weyburn what it is, and it is so exciting to see the community come together and raising that kind of money for our member agencies.”
“This year was so much fun, we had so many goose-bump moments because we didn’t know what was going to happen, but the number kept climbing,” said Christine Cooper, co-chair of the Communithon. “The money that we did raise is fantastic and is going to go to a lot of great organizations to keep them operating in our community.”
There were many volunteers who helped coordinate the 33-hour fundraiser. “I got to do everything this year, including production and running the camera. We got such a seasoned crew that they are not afraid to stop and show people how they can help out too. We have great fun getting together every year for Communithon,” said Cooper.
“We didn’t reach our goal on air, but we still raised a tonne of money, which I think is a success. I had a lot of fun being a part of the Communithon,” said Sarah Doud, Lady Charity. “The 33 hours are ones that I will never forget, I had a lot of fun.”
One of her favourite moments was the last performance of the 33 hours, when members of the United Way board joined the STARS Show Choir in singing “Let’s Work Together”.
“It was also a new experience to get behind the scenes and seeing all that goes on, it was a life-changing experience,” said Justin Claude, Captain United. “I got cherished memories for the rest of my lifetime.”
He really liked the open mic event on Friday night that was held by the Weyburn Comp students. “Everyone got involved, sang and had a good time.”
Both Lady Charity and Captain United were able to learn a lot about one of the member agencies, as Sharla Sept from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Weyburn helped coordinate events for both youth.
“She guided us during the past few weeks,” said Doud. “I wish I had the time to visit the other member agencies, but unfortunately there wasn’t enough time to do that.”
The 11 member agencies of the Weyburn and District United Way are: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Weyburn; Canadian Mental Health Association; Canadian National Institute for the Blind; Canadian Paraplegic Association; Canadian Red Cross; Color My World Child Care; Envision Counselling and Support Centre; Saskatchewan Abilities Council; Southeast Advocates for Employment (WASES); the Weyburn Care-A-Van Society; and the Weyburn Special Care Home Auxiliary.