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Telethon showcases talent from Manteca & Lathrop on Nov. 21-22
A singing group from the 2010 telethon. - photo by Bulletin file photo

• WHAT: 31st annual Boys & Girls Telethon
• WHEN: Monday, Nov. 21, from 5 to 9 p.m.  & Tuesday, Nov. 22, from 5 to 10 p.m.
• WHERE: Comcast Cable 97 or on the Internet at
• TO HELP: If you would like to donate, help  man phones, or provide an item for the silent or live auctions contact the Boys & Girls Club at 239-KIDS.

November’s biggest talent showcase - the 31st annual Manteca-Lathrop Boys & Girls Club Telethon, takes place Monday, Nov. 21, and Tuesday, Nov. 22.

The Comcast Cable Channel 97 live broadcast and live streaming on the Internet will feature everything from the Sierra High band to up and coming young bands and vocalists.

You can watch at the club, 545 W. Alameda St., as well.

The entertainment line-up on Monday, Nov. 21:

• 5 p.m., Sierra High band

• 5:30 p.m., Funtastic Gymnastics

• 6 p.m., Vocalist Robyn Glover

• 6:30 p.m., Dance and Cheer Stars

• 7 p.m. GK Music performers

• 7:30p.m., GK Music performers

• 8:30 p.m., United Front youth band

The entertainment line-up on Monday, Nov. 21:

• 5 p.m., Dream Weavers jazz group

• 5:30 p.m., Funtastic Gymnastics

• 6 p.m., Taberna Karate

• 6:30 p.m. Art of Dance

• 7 p.m., Cheyenne Milligan

• 7:30 p.m., Sondance Christian dance

• 8 p.m., GK Music performers

• 9 p.m., Family Unit

• 9:30 p.m., Family Unit

More than 300 people are trying to raise $125,000 during the 31st annual telethon to help support programs for 1,500 kids in Manteca and Lathrop. The club has been challenged not just by a down economy but also a sharp increase in kids accessing programs. Attendance numbers are up by more than 10 percent as more kids turn to the club for help.

Organizers are hoping that community members who may have frequent flier miles or even time shares they could donate to be put up for bid during the auction portion of the telethon.

Such items tend to draw a lot of interest among bidders.

The telethon consists of four components: volunteers manning phones to call individuals and businesses for pledges, entertainment, a live auction, and a silent auction. The club wil also test some exclusive on-line bid items this year.

Manteca Fire Chief Kirk Waters - who credits the Boys Club of San Mateo for keeping him on the right path growing up - is a firm believer in the effectiveness of the club. Not only does he serve on the board but he is also helping coordinate the phone banks this year along with Linda Abeldt. If you’d like to help with the pledge phones contact Waters at 456-8300.

The club has been forced to reduce spending due to the economy while the demand has increased due to families being financially distressed. Executive Director Charlie Halford has been accepting less than half his salary for several years in a bid to keep staffing levels that serve kids directly as high as possible. The club still has had to trim back. Even with reduced manpower, the club is working on ways to steer kids into making the right choices as well as provide things for them to do in a safe environment.

The telethon is carried live on Comcast Cable TV Channel 97 on Monday, Nov. 21, from 5 to 9 p.m. and Tuesday, Nov. 22, from 5 to 10 p.m.

For those who wish to help secure auction items or help with other aspects of the telethon contact the Boys & Girls Club at 239-KIDS.