The first weekend in March brings about many smiles for a number of reasons, with warmer weather typically being the primary one for most of Canada.
But in Saskatchewan, there's a much more important and heartwarming reason: Telemiracle.
The 20-hour telethon event returns this weekend for it's 42nd year beginning at 9pm on Saturday night in Regina, as all of Saskatchewan graciously donates whatever they can for those in need with every penny staying put and supporting others in the province.
With donations needed for various causes now more than ever, awareness of Telemiracle is paramount this week for Kinsmen and Kinette members across Saskatchewan. That was the primary goal in Estevan on Monday as two well-known faces and voices from the community embarked on a 'Telemiracle Tour' in the Energy City.
Local Kinette member and this year's Telemiracle Chairperson Susan Colbow was accompanied by country music artist (and Estevan's own) Chris Henderson, along with 'Telemiracle Teddy', to HIllcrest and Westview School, as well as St. Joseph's Hospital in Estevan.
"It was awesome to see the enthusiasm of the kids and how excited they are, singing along with Chris's music," expressed Susan Colbow, who is now off to Regina to prepare for the weekend.
"The fundraising that they did and the excitement that was shown, it was just a really good day."
The duo spent over four hours speaking to the kids and interacting with the teachers at the schools, while doing the same with residents and staff at St. Joseph's Hospital. With Chris Henderson keeping the mood uplifting playing some crowd favourites from Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and some of his own hit singles.
"The cool thing about doing these tours is we get to visit those who not only raised money, but those who have benefited from it," adds Henderson. "You just leave a day like today feeling really encouraged about humanity."
Telemiracle funds have supported numerous individuals and projects in Estevan and southeast Saskatchewan. Monday's tour highlighted the 'All-Inclusive Playground Project' at Westview School and the donations of beds to Unit A at St. Joe's. This upcoming year, Hillcrest School will receive funds towards their playground project.
Funds are already heading Telemiracle's way with ongoing fundraisers in the community. The students and faculty at Westview got the ball rolling with a donation of $3,772.70.
Telemiracle 42 will be streamed online at www.telemiracle.com this Saturday and Sunday in Regina.