With more than $5.5 million raised, Telemiracle 47 has been declared a resounding success, and a portion of that overall total came from right here in Saskatchewan’s northwest.

“We’re always happy with how Telemiracle goes – there are hundreds of people involved with that big show, and for them to continue to pull in multi-millions of dollars every year is good news,” remarked Geoff Barton of the Meadow Lake Kinsmen. “The money will definitely go to good use.”

At the conclusion of the two-day telethon – broadcast Feb. 25 and 26 from Saskatoon – $5,519,229 was raised for the Kinsmen Foundation, money that will support Saskatchewan residents and families who require special needs equipment to maintain or improve their quality of life, as well as travel assistance for those who need to leave their home communities to access life-saving medical treatment.

Meanwhile, although final numbers were not available as of this week’s news deadline, a generous sum of the $5.5 million was generated right here in Meadow Lake and area through the efforts of the local Kinsmen and Kinettes, as well as through a variety of school, business and other fundraisers.

“Numbers-wise I’m not sure yet, but the Kinettes held a successful online auction, while we hosted the Gord Bamford concert at the Meadow Lake Civic Centre Saturday night (Feb. 25),” Barton said. “I would hate to even guess how much we raised, but, absolutely it was a success. Everyone had a really good time, and even Gord and the band said afterward they had a hell of a time up here. They also said they’d love to come back and play again some time.”

For more than four decades, the Kinsmen and Kinettes hosted a live Telemiracle show in Meadow Lake which ran concurrently with the main telethon. The local event featured a radio-thon, live entertainment, a silent auction and more. However, the Meadow Lake show fell by the wayside with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This year was a little different, and the Gord Bamford concert was originally scheduled for November but had to be postponed because of poor weather conditions,” Barton said. “This past weekend just happened to be the day the (rescheduled) concert fell on and, as such, it became our Telemiracle event kind of by default. Separate from Telemiracle, we definitely want to host more shows like this. We will always do something for Telemiracle, so we’ll see what next year brings. All options are still available to us.”

Barton also spoke highly of the generosity shown by the people of Meadow Lake and area.

“Meadow Lake never ceases to amaze,” he said. “It’s incredible to see how willing everyone is up here to help out his or her neighbour – whether it be financially or even through volunteering. It’s always great to see and as long as we keep that up the future is looking bright.”

by Phil Ambroziak