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Women of Today Present 27th Annual Santa’s Elves Telethon

Dec 31, 2015 06:00AM ● By Steven Chisholm

Members and leaders of Daisy Troop 100 at the Santa's Elves 2015 telethon, with Town Administrator Denis Fraine and telethon host Linda Trudeau

On December 9, the Bellingham Women of Today (BWOT) hosted their 27th Annual Santa’s Elves Telethon, which aired on ABMI-Cable 8. Its goal was to raise money and toys for struggling families in the surrounding communities. The BWOT received $3,780 and hundreds of toys and distributed the donations to the St. Blaise Adopt-a-Family program and a local women-and-children’s shelter.

The event was hosted by Linda Trudeau, host of the telethon for all except one of its 27 years. She was accompanied by Michael Soter, Chairman of the Board of Selectmen. Behind the scenes were Stephen Saraceno, publicity director for ABMI-Cable 8 for 15 years, and his staff of cameramen. Also, Santa and Mrs. Claus were available during the event to take calls from young viewers.

The telethon showcased several talent acts from both children and adults. Several holiday classics were sung by local scout troops: Boy Scout Packs 18 and 100, Girl Scout Troop 375, and Daisy Troop 368. The children each donated a present of their own. Further renditions of popular Christmas songs were performed by the Bellingham Senior Center Chorus, doo wop singer and former music show host Paulie Aiello, Walking Shadow Shakespeare Project member Aubrie Bagdasarian, and My Mother’s Moustache band member and solo guitarist Joe Sabourin.

In addition to the talent acts, several influential members of the community were in attendance to show their support for the fundraiser. Monetary donations were given by Michael Soter, Town Administrator Denis Fraine, Leo Fantini of the MA Realty Group, Tony Khoury of Khoury Industries, the Bellingham Democratic Town Committee, Brian’s Country Greenery, and John Orthman and the Bellingham Business Association. In addition, a donation of $1000 was raised by the Bellingham Police Department.

Further donations were phoned in by viewers. Various gifts were auctioned off to motivate additional viewers to call in their donations. Auctioned items included a cheesecake for anyone donating $30 or more, a $25 Blackhawk’s Pizza gift card, a $25 gift certificate to Gateway Liquors for callers offering $50 or more, a $20 Coachmen’s Lodge gift card, and lunch and a tour of the State House with Rep. Kevin Kuros.

The Women of Today, a community service organization open to all women and men, donated their efforts to sponsoring the event and ensuring the continued success of the telethon. In addition to Santa’s Elves Telethon, BWOT member Melonie Mancini said, “We hold similar fundraisers throughout the holidays. For example, on Mother’s Day we collect flowers for children of struggling families so that they’ll have something to give their mother.”

The Women of Today’s next event  is Muffins with the Easter Bunny. Muffins and several other food items will be available, and children will be able to take pictures with Mr. Bunny for a small fee. More info will follow in an upcoming issue of the Bellingham Bulletin.

The organization meets on the first  Monday of the month at 7:30 pm at the Bellingham Police Department Youth Center in Bellingham Plaza. They welcome new members.





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