Record-breaking fundraiser


As a kid growing up, I remember the Jerry Lewis Telethon to raise money for Muscular Dystrophy as a very big deal. For two day I was glued to the TV watching group after group march on stage and hand Jerry a giant cardboard check. I convinced my parents to drive me to the downtown area of Des Moines, Iowa, so I could see Jerry and those checks and give him some money of my own.

I don’t believe I was permanently scarred to learn Jerry was not anywhere near Des Moines, Iowa, but I do remember getting caught up in all of the excitement once I did get downtown. The local effort to support the national telethon was electrifying and clearly required a lot of work.

For a host of different reasons, the Jerry Lewis Telethon is not quite as big a deal for me these days as it used to be. However, I wonder whether today’s younger generation will look back from adulthood and remember the Carmel Education Foundation Telethon. A long time 27-year tradition went through a major renovation this year. The results, a whopping $35,000 in donations shattering all previous records.

Yes, that is 35 with a capital “T.” The children in the Carmel Clay School District will benefit from the generosity of time and talent from the Carmel community. Headed up by an All Star threesome of Stephanie McDonald, Janet Corbin and Barb Danquist, the money raised will go directly to improving academic achievement. The Carmel Education Foundation funds educational classroom grants and college scholarships.

Students from the National Honor Society and CHS Key Club along with parents and friends executed an outbound calling program to reach out and ask for donations. During their telephone blitz, they enjoyed food and snacks from some of Carmel’s most loyal and supportive businesses. Joe’s Butcher Shop, Jimmy Johns, Which Wich and MCL Cafeteria made sure the outbound caller’s stomach did not grumble and interfere with the kindness and benevolence of Carmelites.

True to the model perfected by Jerry Lewis, the CEF Telethon was complete with top notch entertainment designed to get callers to part with their dollars. Nine elementary school and 2 middle school choirs, jazz band and ORFF Ensembles performed to the delight of the live audience and Channel 99 viewers.

It is widely accepted that Carmel Schools are highly competitive and a primary factor which helps to make Carmel great. The Carmel Education Foundation is doing its part to make sure that trend continues.

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