UWP raises roughly $54,000 during Christmas telethon in support of Wisconsin Badger Camp

December 12, 2002

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2002_12_12.jpg UWP student Andrea Rider directs the talent during the 29th Annual UWP Christmas telethon. Photo by Andy McNeill - UWP Photographer

PLATTEVILLE-University of Wisconsin-Platteville students were doing more than "making memories" during the 29th Annual UWP Christmas Telethon held in support of Wisconsin Badger Camp. An estimated $54,000 was raised during the two-day telethon, held Dec. 6 - 7, for the Prairie du Chien area camp designed to accommodate people with developmental disabilities.

More than 100 UWP students volunteer each year to help with the telethon, which is primarily organized by a core group of students. This year's core group included Ed Nelson of Eagen, Minn., Mike Lange of Green Bay, Scott Abing of Cassville, John Reuter of Hastings, Minn., and Andrea Rider of Prairie du Chien. Despite one of the smallest core groups ever, Colleen Garrity, director of UWP Television Services, said the telethon went very well.

"We had a small, but very good, highly-dedicated core team," Garrity said. "The success of the telethon really did rest on their shoulders. It was nice to see how well they did because we had a lot of students who were new to the telethon this year."

During the telethon, student hosts and hostesses interviewed a variety of people, introduced the many talent acts and auctioned off numerous items donated to the telethon. One of the most unusual auction items this year, drawing a large bid, was bilateral eye surgery donated by Davis Duehr Dean of Platteville. Other auction items included a lawn shed, spa packages and a multitude of hotel accommodation packages.

"We also had a lot of little things donated from local businesses," Garrity said. "Of course, some of those little things were very valuable, but you name it, we had it."

Each year, UWP alumni also participate in the telethon, taking over a two-hour block of the show, hosting guests, running cameras and producing other areas of the telethon. Garrity said, for her, the alumni block was the highlight of the telethon.

"For each person, the highlight of the telethon is different, but for me, I always enjoy the alumni block," Garrity said. "It's nice to see that our alumni are still interested in the telethon and the University. It's also nice just to see former students and catch up on what they've been doing since graduation."

Each year, the telethon includes a number of talented performers. This year, the All-Star Country Dancers got the telethon hopping by inviting audience members to dance on stage. The local band, Okham's Razor was also received with much enthusiasm. One of the band's members - Roy Schroedl of Cuba City - has been performing on the telethon for more than 20 years, Garrity said.

All proceeds from the telethon go toward sponsoring "camperships" or scholarships at Wisconsin Badger Camp.

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