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35th annual telethon tonight, Tuesday
Taylor Hasal works on the setup of the entertainment stage for the telethon that opens tonight. - photo by HIME ROMERO /The Bulletin

Donations are the lifeblood of the Manteca-Lathrop Boys & Girls Club.

Without the community’s generosity the non-profit would month be able to provide a safe haven and a nurturing environment for 1,500 youths each year after school and during the summer.

The linchpin of the fundraising effort to support the club is the 35th annual telethon that takes place tonight from 5 to 8 p.m. and Tuesday from 5 to 10 p.m. on Comcast Channel 97.

The goal is to raise close to $120,000 or a quarter of the club’s operating budget during the two-day event.

People are encouraged to drop by the clubhouse at 545 W. Alameda St. where live coverage of the telethon takes place. Guests can see local entertainment in person as well as bid on silent auction times. Those stopping by the club can also peek into the broadcast room — the games room of the club that has been transformed for the event. It is there were upwards of 160 community volunteers will man phones seeking pledges for the club.

It is also where live auction items that will go to the highest bidder are on display.

Viewers can also bid on live auction items via the phone.

Art auction

part of event

An art auction with original creations by budding artists is part of this year’s telethon.

Unlike other auction items were 100 percent of the winning bids go to fund year-round activities at the club, the top bid for each piece of art will be split 50-50 between the club and the young artist.

Last year, five pieces were auctioned off. The youths who received money last year used it to pay for school clothes and — in one case — assisting paying for their family’s grocery bill.

Manteca Fire Chief Kirk Waters — a former Boys & Girls Club member in San Mateo — is coordinating phone volunteers. Linda Abelt is in charge of the live auction while Bank of Stockton community banking manager Amy Kieffer is coordinating the silent auction. Yoli Vaughn is handling the entertainment while Jay Holmes and Manteca Police officer Stephen Schuler are the floor managers

 Between phone banks, entertainment and behind-the-scenes efforts it takes more than 300 volunteers overall to stage the telethon that has been a Thanksgiving week tradition in Manteca for 35 years.

More detail can be found in the full page ad sponsored by Doctors Hospital of Manteca that appears on Page A8 of today’s Bulletin.