PITTSFIELD, Mass. — United Cerebral Palsy of Berkshire County's 49th annual telethon will be broadcast live on Sunday, Jan. 29, from 1 to 5 at the Crowne Plaza and feature well-known blues musician Albert Cummings.
This year's honorary Chairman is Daniel E. Bosley, former state representative and principal of Dan Bosley Consulting Services.
Set to the theme of "Kids Are the Bridge to the Future," the telethon's fundraising goal is $35,000. One hundred percent of the funds raised will go to support assistive technology, children's programming and basic needs and emergency support to individuals and families.
"The telethon is a wonderful event that showcases the good about the children throughout Berkshire County, who give up their day to be entertainers at our telethon," said Executive Director Christine Singer. "It's about the countless volunteers and donors who believe that UCP services make a difference in the lives of people with disabilities in our community. Financial support is sorely needed this year in light of our difficult economic times."
The telethon will also be televised simultaneously on Pittsfield Community Television's Channel 16, on Northern Berkshire Community Television Corp.'s Channel 15 and on Community Television for the Southern Berkshires' Channel 16.
Eric Greene and Cheryl Adams of WUPE 100.1 FM will be conducting a radio-thon live at the Crowne Plaza from 1 to 3. In addition, there will be a silent auction and a raffle held during the event.
The event's major sponsors are Laurin Publishing, Greylock Federal Credit Union, Health New England and the Crowne Plaza.
Cummings started playing the five-string banjo at the age of 12, but later switched to guitar. He's released a number of albums, including "Feel So Good" recorded live at the Colonial Theatre. For more information go to albertcummings.com.
In addition to Cummings, the event features children's entertainment, educational clips about UCP services and special guests from the community.
Hosts include Ron Gallagher of Williamstown, who directs programs for the Commission for the Blind Western Regional Offices; Ashley Sulock of Pittsfield, director of marketing and communications for the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce. Returning is Jennifer Shumsky, longtime UCP volunteer, Larry Kratka of WUPE/WUHN, David Winchester of WSBS and Paul Hutchinson, retired Adams town clerk. Also back will be clowns "Hello" and "Bye, Bye" from North County, who will be interviewing anyone who brings a donation to the event.
The public is invited to all location sites and encouraged to support UCP by making a pledge.
"Community support is needed to make a difference in the lives of children and adults with physical and developmental disabilities that are looking for the tools to increase their independence and to make their dreams possible," said board President Anthony Hyte. "We hope the community will join us."
Schedule of entertainment
1–1:15: Dave Winchester, Taconic High School concert band and guitar ensemble
1:15–1:30: CYC Cheerleaders, Albany Berkshire Ballet Junior Company and the Senior Academy of the Cantarella School of Dance
1:30–1:45: Berkshire Music School Blueberry Buckle Trio
1:45–2: Taconic High School cheerleaders, Cantarella School of Dance Academy One Dancers, Northern Berkshire Early Intervention Program Children's Playgroup Singers
2–2:15: Troop 20 Boy Scout Choir, Albert Cummings
2:15–2:30: Karen's School of Dance
2:30–2:45: Oldies But Goodies Rock 'n' Roll Show
2:45–3: Youth Alive Step and Drum Line
3–3:15: Chin Bo Jok demonstration
3:15–3:30: UCP Fun Club Singers, Karl Mullen "The Wandering Rocks"
3:30–3:45: Berkshire Music School, Bing's Strings
3:45–4: UCP North County Self-Advocates
4–4:15: Billsville Boys
4:15–4:30: Kidzone Dance Team
4:30–4:45: Aloha and David Winchester, Richmond Consolidated School Jazz Band
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