AYLESFORD, NS - A long-time telethon organizer says Lions Club members want to give back to their communities and he doesn’t think there’s any better way to do it.
The annual Christmas Mommies and Daddies Telethon was broadcast on Eastlink TV on Nov. 25, live from the Aylesford and District Fire Hall.
Bob Lyle of Kingston, a member of the Kingston Lions for 41 years and one of the main telethon organizers, said the initiative is all about helping the less fortunate in our community at Christmas time.
“I’m not rich but I’m fortunate to have fairly good health and to be able to do the things I do and to support somebody that is less fortunate than me in the community,” Lyle said. “We want to help people, young and old alike.”
The Kingston, Aylesford, Berwick and Coldbrook Lions Clubs team up to put on the annual telethon, which supports the Friendly Neighbours Club’s efforts to provide families in need from Kingston to Coldbrook with food hampers and toys at Christmas. Lyle said they have a good rapport with the people at Eastlink TV and they work well together.
He said the need is always there. Although the number of applicants varies from year to year, there are usually between 340 and 380 families who receive assistance.
Applications for assistance are available from Sobeys in Greenwood and the Kingston Pharmasave. The applications are filled out and returned to the stores. The forms go through a vetting process and recipients are notified by phone that they’ll be receiving Christmas hampers and toys.
Lyle also donates his musical talents to the cause, playing his guitar and singing as part of the telethon. He said they have a great time staging the event and when it comes to performing on stage, he “just loves it.” Everyone involved, including the performers, volunteer their time and efforts.
Lyle, who firmly believes that it’s better to give than to receive, has started a new telethon tradition. For the past few years, he has sacrificed a Christmas tie, having it cut into pieces in exchange for pledges. Coldbrook Lion Gerald Little and Aylesford Lion Brian Graves each had the honour of taking a pair of scissors to the tie.
The grand total as the telethon went off the air was $19,348. Donors can honour their pledges at RBC in Coldbrook and Berwick, CIBC in Greenwood, Scotiabank in Middleton and Greenwood, the Valley Credit Union in Greenwood and Cambridge and Chisholm’s Pharmachoice in Aylesford.