The Estevan United Way is busy preparing for another big year and another Telethon.
"The theme for this year's Telethon is United Through Adversity," explained United Way President, Patrick Fisher.
"A lot of people see adversity in the economy and the growth of Estevan and the provincial budget and things like that, but to a greater degree we looked at it like as the member agencies that the United Way have, help their clientele out with adversity whether it's through struggles in mental or physical capabilities, whether it's they've lost their job, they need aid in some form. Adversity is all around us whether it's obvious or not, the United Way and its member agencies are here to help people through their adversity."
He added that the goal this year is the same as last year's.
"It is $325,000. It was a tough decision. Looking through all the member agencies, needs are increased. When the economy is bad, that's when our member agencies need it the most. So we did have to make a lot of tough calls, and gauge how much support we will get this year versus what our member agencies need. In the end we thought that was the best mix. It will still allow our member agencies to run. United Way has 15 member agencies. They range from a couple national ones like Spinal Cord Injury Saskatchewan to Canadian Red Cross to CNIB as well as a lot of local ones."
Creighton Lodge is one of the local groups being supported with their renovations as well as Envision, Estevan Area Literacy Group and The Family Resource Centre.
"As well, we also support the Hillcrest Breakfast Program as part of our Community Impact initiative. It's been running for six or seven years now and you can tell the difference in the students and even the community in that school has increased so greatly because of it. You can see stats that kids are more well behaved after eating a full breakfast, they're learning and their grades are going up. It's been really fun to see."
The telethon will be running a few weeks later than it usually does because a conflict in the schedule.
"It is October 27-28 this year. Last year, we were approached by the Legion. There was an opportunity for them to run a provincial conference there and it was going to conflict with our date. Estevan Legion has always been a huge supporter, they give us that building for free that weekend. And in all honesty, there's nowhere else that we would rather have it than the Legion and we gladly obliged and pushed it back a couple weeks to allow for them to run that event."
And even with it being a few weeks later, it won't dampen the excitement building this year.
"You'd always hear about and it and coming from Moose Jaw, where it's bigger centre, you hear that a town of 10,000 people raised $300,000, it's incredibly phenomenal and to be a part of it. It's amazing to see people come out, people are donating items for the silent auction, people are filling time during the telethons with entertainment. We've seen amazing things, there was one year we had East Indian dancers and they just lit up the place. It was phenomenal.
"To experience different cultures, to see different people bringing their talents whether it is homemaking items, playing songs to helping in the kitchen, helping out behind the scenes, it brings the community together. In the end you can really step back and from all sides of it, and be really proud of what Estevan did, not only during that telethon but then all that money is going to all those 15 agencies that do phenomenal work throughout the rest of the year."