MONTREAL - The Canadiens Children's Foundation's #ourGOALtoASSIST telethon is set to mark its ninth year on Wednesday, and it's looking to hit an important milestone in the process.
That's because if the telethon - officially known as the RadioTeleDON - meets its fundraising target of $120,000 this year, that would help it reach the $1 million mark in money gathered since its inception.
"Every dime, every dollar is important," explained Genevieve Paquette, the Foundation's Executive Director, of the initiative. "There are a lot of charities and a lot of people trying to help kids, adults and families.
"The telethon is an event for us to both raise money and awareness for what the Foundation does in the community. Funds will go in the community, especially to help kids learn how to skate on the rinks we build, send some kids to camp and play ball hockey. [They will also go to] other charitable requests we receive from groups that work across the province of Quebec that encourage kids to be more active."
More than just fundraising, Paquette believes the telethon is a good opportunity to connect members of the community with the Foundation and the work it carries out.
"What we want to achieve with the telethon is to talk, have a discussion and make some noise about what the Foundation does," she added. "It's a great privilege to take the opportunity of a hockey game and work with our broadcast partners and have them included and talking about the Foundation and its mission, doing interviews that are related to community action and not necessarily just the hockey game."
In addition to helping the community, donors could be in for an exciting surprise if they call in. Telethon co-spokespeople Guy Lafleur and RDS' Chantal Machabee will be joining current players' spouses, other Canadiens alumni and evenko artists in manning the lines, and donors could get to speak to any one of them when they dial in - and if that helps members of the public form a lasting connection with the cause, all the better.
"We are hoping that by making a small donation or by listening to what the Foundation does, it will eventually translate into support - whether that be a financial donation, volunteer work or an in-kind donation," Paquette said of the telethon, which is offering official photos of Shea Weber, Jonathan Drouin and/or Lafleur for donations starting at $50 or more, depending on the amount. "Everything is important as part of the work you want to do in the community.
"It's fun because people call in to give $5 or $100 and we take the time to chat with every donor and have a discussion about hockey and what the Foundation does," concluded Paquette. "It's a nice event."
The RadioTeleDON runs on Wednesday, November 29 starting at 5:00 p.m. To call in, dial 1-888-925-2133 or visit http://www.ourgoaltoassist.com/ for more information.