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By Nancy Kelly
The annual Christmas Mommies and Daddies telethon and auction is a collaboration of community groups sharing the same goal: to make Christmas a happier time for local families in need.
The tradition supporting the Friendly Neighbours Christmas hamper project continues with the telethon scheduled to air live on Eastlink TV Nov. 27 from the Aylesford fire hall.
"From the ground up this project is a community effort that supports families less fortunate than ourselves," said Lions Barbara Lyle, who is hosting this year's telethon on behalf of the Kingston Lions Club.
The Kingston club is joined by those in Aylesford, Berwick and Coldbrook in providing volunteers to organize and run the telethon. Members also help Friendly Neighbours distribute hampers of Christmas food, toys, clothes and other necessities in local communities closer to Christmas.
The effort to bring a happier Christmas to local families goes back to 1968, when Friendly Neighbours started as a 14 Wing Greenwood initiative to help needy families living on and off the base. In the mid 1980s Mid-Valley Cable started a supporting telethon for Friendly Neighbours, originally broadcasting live from its studio in Aylesford. Subsequent cable networks have continued the telethon, which is today carried on EastLink.
The telethon raises more than $20,000 a year for the hamper project. Valley residents are encouraged to help their neighbours by making a pledge or an auction bid.
"And honouring your pledge or purchase is equally important," added Lyle, who invites the public to drop in and see the program live.
"As always we have a great lineup of entertainment and special guests planned."
What: Christmas Mommies and Daddies telethon
When: Sunday, Nov. 27 between noon and 8 p.m.
Where: Broadcast live on Eastlink TV from the Aylesford fire hall
Pledges and auction bids: Can be made by calling 341-3013 locally or 1-855-351-3013 toll-free.
Honoring the pledge: At Royal Bank branches in in Coldbrook, Berwick and Middleton, at CIBC in Kingston and Greenwood, Scotiabank in Greenwood and Middleton, Credit Union branches in Cambridge and Greenwood and Chisholm's Pharmachoice in Aylesford