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32nd annual Boys & Girls Telethon continues tonight
Mark Twomey and Matthew Elliott of the Sierra High Jazz Band perform Monday night at the Boys and Girls Club Telethon. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL

• WHAT: 32nd annual Boys & Girls Telethon
• WHEN: Tonight from 5 to 10 p.m.
• WHERE: Comcast Cable 97 or on live streaming at or drop by the clubhouse at 545 W. Alameda St.

Jessica Vaughan didn’t know what to expect when she committed to volunteering as a phone bank caller at the 32nd annual Boys and Girls Club Telethon Monday night.

Community service is nothing new for the Wells Fargo staffer that makes it a point to represent both herself and her employer on a regular basis – helping those that are less fortunate and aiding organizations that have been deeply crippled by a lack of adequate funding.

But doing something to help keep kids off the street struck a chord with the young mother.

“It’s an organization that does everything it can to help kids and give them the opportunities that they need to be successful,” she said. “It not only keeps them off of the streets but gives them the tools that they need, and I’m here to help out the community wherever it’s needed.

“I enjoy the feeling of doing something good and being able to help, and who knows – maybe my two-year-old will end up coming here someday.”

More than three decades after people first started hitting the phones to raise money for Manteca’s main youth center, both participants and supporters filtered into the site’s gymnasium for a glimpse of both the entertainment and some of the silent auction prizes that go to help keep the doors open for 1,500 boys and girls in the community.

Organizers are hoping to raise $125,000 over the course of the two-day event. that continues tonight.

And while the core of the event still revolves around the phones and the cable-access television station that people at home follow it on, the rest of the event has now entered the high-tech world.

Thanks to resident Fred White and his product, people at home are now able to go to a Home Shopping Network-type website where they can view the prizes that are normally available on the main tote boards and enter their respective bids. They can watch the action live online via a live feed from Comcast, and can track all of the action on all of the other products.

White – who most people would recognize from his “Movies in the Park” events at Woodward Park – decided to get more involved with the community after his doctor gave him a sobering diagnosis that forced him to rethink some things.

“When my doctor diagnosed me with diabetes he basically told me that I was going to die quicker than most,” White said while watching the auction monitors. “I decided that I wanted to leave a legacy and do everything that I could and just tear it up – to show my family that it’s all about doing everything you can to help others and giving back.

“That’s what keeps brining me back to events like this.”

Liana Bassett – Manteca Youth Focus’ Miss Teen Winterfest – was all smiles as she went through her phone list and tried to raise as much money as possible for the organization.

“I enjoy helping other people and making a difference in the community,” she said. “I know that this is something that raises a lot of money for the Boys and Girls Club, and I’m glad that I got a chance to help them move towards their goal.”