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TELETHON GOAL: $100,000

300 plus volunteers making pitch to help kids

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Boys & Girls Club Telethon

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POSTED November 20, 2012 12:48 a.m.

Brigitte Lopez scanned each of the items in the silent auction methodically.

One-by-one she made her way down the line looking at each of the varied objects laid out on the tables inside of the Boys and Girls Club gymnasium.

As a mother of members of the organization and as a wife of a staff member, Lopez knew intimately where her money would be going if she wins one of the items up for bid – something that wasn’t lost on her as she jotted her name down on a prize she hoped to bring home.

“My kids are here every day and my daughter is now down here answering phones – they all love it,” she said. “It’s such a great place. It keeps kids off of the street and out of trouble.

“And it gives them a chance to be around other kids their age and socialize with them. I’ll come in and there are kids that were shy and wouldn’t talk that are running around and laughing now. They’ll come right up to you and start talking.”

The 33rd annual telethon – the main fundraiser for the non-profit organization – continues today from 5 to 10 p.m. It can be viewed on Comcast channel 97.

People are also encouraged to drop by the facility at 545 W. Alameda St. during the same hours to see live entertainment as well as bid on nearly 200 live and silent auction items.

Haley Nieves – the Vice President of the Lathrop District Youth Chamber of Commerce – made herself comfortable on the phone bank while dialing people that she knew for donations.

It was the third year in a row that Nieves has come down to be a part of what has become an event that transcends the fundraiser title and something that she fully believes in.

“I think that it provides a really positive program for kids and helps keep them off of the street,” she said. “It gives them a safe place to study, work and play and a lot of kids don’t have those resources at their disposal.

“People surround them with support here no matter what their home life may be.”

Nieves is one of more than 300 volunteers that help stage the telethon every year.

Jack Kortner took a less public route in his support for the event by taking in and rooting on the live entertainers that rocked the stage inside of the gymnasium.

It was his first time actually coming down, and Kortner said he was impressed with what he saw.

“It’s different than what you see on TV. There’s a lot more going on down here,” he said. “And that’s a good thing. I think something like this today to benefit kids is badly needed.”

The club is trying to raise $100,000 to help fund programs for 15090 youth in Manteca and Lathrop. The phone bank volunteers on Monday generated $7,651 toward that goal.

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