The 44th annual Easterseals Telethon on ABC 25 ended at 6 p.m. Sunday, July 18, with a “final tote” of $931,159 raised for the Easterseals Rehabilitation Center. That amount achieved Easterseals’ goal of surpassing a final total of $900,000. All proceeds will help to provide inclusive early education and essential therapy services for Tri-State children and adults with disabilities. Easterseals also shared mission stories, recognized supporters, and celebrated the organization’s 75th anniversary during the broadcast.
The show aired live on ABC 25 from the therapy gym at the Easterseals Rehabilitation Center, 3701 Bellemeade Ave. in Evansville. ABC 25 is the only station in the U.S. donating 100% of production and air time costs for a local Easterseals Telethon. The final hour of the show was also simulcast on The CW 7. Hosting the show were Eyewitness News team members Brad Byrd, Shelley Kirk, Wayne Hart, Brandon Bartlett, Jake Boswell, Gretchen Ross, and Ron Rhodes.
The E'ville Iron Street Rod Club hosted their annual Telethon Cruise-In during the show. The local street rod enthusiasts are among Easterseals’ largest supporters. The club was presented with a special award for the group’s “Exceptional Commitment to the Easterseals Mission.”
Many individuals, businesses and groups presented checks and several matched viewers’ pledges. “Pacesetter” volunteers presented donations raised in advance of the show. Many people gave at the Cruise-In “fish bowl.” Tri-State companies, civic organizations, and local celebrities answered phones from viewers calling in pledges. Other businesses and groups competed to raise funds by making outbound calls from the “Dialin’ and Duelin’ for Dollars” call center.
Among many individuals featured on the show were local Easterseals Child Ambassador Evan Carter and Adult Ambassador Sandy Ford, both of Evansville. Viewers also saw video success stories created and donated by “Direction by Newman” in cooperation with ABC 25 and The CW 7.
Mayor Lloyd Winnecke appeared on the broadcast to proclaim “Easterseals Day” in the City of Evansville. Several individuals, businesses and organizations appearing on the show received Easterseals Mayor’s Awards for their generous support of Easterseals.
Community support is still needed as Easterseals recovers from financial shortfalls caused by the pandemic and continues providing essential services for local children and adults with disabilities, regardless of their ability to pay. The community can help after the Telethon by:
• Texting the word TRANSFORM to 243725 to donate an amount of your choice.
• Giving securely online any time
• Mailing a donation to Easterseals, 3701 Bellemeade Ave., Evansville, IN 47714, or calling 812.479.1411.
The Easterseals Rehabilitation Center serves approximately 5,000 individuals with disabilities from a 30-county area of Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois. Core services are provided on a sliding fee scale, regardless of ability to pay. All donations stay local to provide inclusive early education and life-changing therapy services for Tri-State children and adults with disabilities.