• WHAT: Boys & Girls Club Telethon
• WHEN: Today from 5 to 10 p.m.
• WHERE: Clubhouse 545 W. Alameda St.
• LIVE COVERAGE: Comcast Channel 97
• TO PLEDGE: 209.249.7333
Vickie Conner rang the bell several times within the quarter of an hour she was on the phone.
She was not the only happy bell ringer Monday night, the first day of the two-day 35th annual Manteca-Lathrop Boys & Girls Club Telethon. A lot more bell ringing are expected this evening when the major fund-raiser to benefit area youth continues from 5 to 10 p.m.
Conner was part of the volunteer group from Starbucks in Lathrop. They have been doing the finger-walking fund-raising for four years now.
But the biggest group Monday evening came from Doctors Hospital of Manteca. More than 30 of them showed up. Several were veterans, like Gayle Foster and Johnette Ragsdale, who showed up with about a dozen of their fellow Ladies Auxiliary members. But it was the first-time volunteers who were the reason Carla Stanley smiling all evening. The director of Emergency Room and Case Management at Doctors Hospital brought with her a contingency of 30 enthusiastic telephone callers. Among the first-timers was ICU nurse Donna Nicholas.
Stanley is a relatively newcomer herself. “I came last year as a volunteer caller,” she said. Then she was recruited as a member of the board of the Boys and Girls Club and became a major cheerleader for the youth organization. She started spreading the good news about volunteerism among the hospital staff including the junior volunteers comprised of students, and things just mushroomed from that, she smiled.
“You got to have people join in the fun. You can’t have all the fun by yourself,” she continued smiling as she cast a satisfied glance at the hospital group working the phone banks inside the Boys and Girls Club facility at Alameda Avenue, corner Acacia Street in Manteca.
More nurses are expected to show up tonight doing good-turn deed, Stanley said. Nurses are engaged in one of the noblest professions – helping people – so “this (volunteering) is normal to them,” she stated.
The steady stream of volunteers manning the phones is clear proof the telethon is getting bigger and better, she added.
Other returning volunteers tonight are the high school students who make up the Rotary-sponsored Interact group. Manteca Unified staff and Interact adviser Tevani Leotard said 14 signed up for tonight’s gig, plus “a few maybes.” The telethon is just one of Interact’s scores of community activities and service projects.
Nearly twice as many volunteer groups will be showing up tonight when the telephone will continue starting at 5 o’clock. If you can’t make it to the telethon site, tune in on Comcast Cable 97 at home to watch and enjoy the proceedings plus the entertainment on stage featuring the community’s best young talents.
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More fun, food and live entertainment tonight
Monday night’s singing sensations included twins Mariel and Sharmaine Cahilas, Sierra High seniors who have been appearing here for the last six years. Siblings Dreama Diaz, 12, and Omar, 8, showed off the talent skills that won them the Boys & Girls Club Talent Show competition this year. Dreama played the guitar while her brother was her drummer. Christina Dundee, a graduate of New Jerusalem’s Delta Charter School and a former GK Studio voice student, was one of the early entertainers on stage. Rounding out the day-one performers were the Boys & Girls Club Choir, musician Martin lejano, vocalists Alexis Clark and Julie Mello, and the JRP Band.
Tonight’s entertainment lineup include a Zumba demonstration, the Kickin’ Country line dancers, a martial arts demonstration from Taberna’s Karate, and the bands Dim the Lights, Neon Strings, Nexus, and Time Frame.
There’s more to the telethon than just raising money via telephone calls though. You can also bid on scores of live auction items ranging from a four-hour Delicato Tasting Party during business hours for up to 80 people and $150 worth of wine and a night at the Gallo Arts Center with dinner at Texas Roadhouse, skiing trips to Donner and Boreal, to a Mickey Mantle autographed matted picture and a Colin Kaepernick autographed photo. But there’s a lot more – more than a hundred items are also up for bidding grabs in a silent auction.
A donation to the Boys & Girls Club goes a long way, one that can turn a lifetime change for the better in the life of a youngster. A pledge of $240 dollars, or just $20 a month, can mean a world of difference in the lives of young children in Manteca and Lathrop.
Below are the numbers to call to make a pledge and/or to make a bid.
To make a pledge, call 249.7333.
To bid on an items, call 249.7322.