Highland Countians pledge nearly $94K at 45th annual telethon
Nearly $94,000 was raised March 29, 2017 thanks to the generosity of Highland County’s people, businesses and civic organizations, during the 45th annual Ernie Blankenship Radio-Telethon to benefit the Highland County Society for Children and Adults. The Rotary Clubs in Hillsboro and Greenfield sponsored the radio-telethon activities, at the US Bank in Hillsboro and at McClain High School in Greenfield. The total fundraising mark since the radio-telethon’s inception in 1973 is now more than $3.5 million. The latest count at the close of the event showed total donations at $93,688, but Rocky Coss, the common pleas judge and Hillsboro Rotarian who leads the Hillsboro and Greenfield Rotary clubs’ fundraising efforts, said he expected more donations by the end of the week, possibly enough to again push the total past the $100,000 mark where it has been the past couple of years. The total raised represents an impressive fundraising accomplishment for a small county and for an organization completely dependent on local support. Each year, the event raises contributions large and small to fund a unique organization that provides assistance with medical needs to Highland County residents. Among the larger contributions Wednesday were $15,000 from the Cassner Foundation, $10,000 from Merchants Bank and its employees, $5,000 from the Eagles, $3,500 from NCB Bank and $3,000 from US Bank, where the event was held this year. The annual chili supper in support of the telethon netted more than $2,100. Auction items were popular in Hillsboro, including a black baseball bat autographed by George Foster, a member of the Cincinnati Reds “Big Red Machine” who won the MVP title in 1977, and other sports memorabilia. In Greenfield, the radio-telethon featured lots of live entertainment, including performances by members of Whitney Beekman’s Modern Movement Dance Co. Poster child Gracin Murarescu, a kindergarten student at New Vienna Elementary School, was on hand with his family, and the youngster charmed attendees as he was showered with attention. HCSCA Executive Director Gayle Coss thanked expressed her thanks to all the Rotarians, sponsors and donors for making the 2017 radio-telethon a success. She also thanked her husband, Judge Rocky Coss, for his work with the event, as he helps plan and run the telethon as well as assisting the emcees. “I want to recognize what Rocky does,” Gayle Coss said. “He gets everything organized, and he’s been doing this for many years.” While the telethon is over, the work goes on. Anyone who would like to donate to HCSCA can still do so, with donations being accepted at local banks or by mail at P.O. Box 258, Hillsboro, Ohio 45133. For more information, contact the Highland County Society for Children and Adults at 937-393-2142.