After enduring a few years of dead-air time and poor donation accruals, GSTV decided to bring a few major changes to the structure of its 13th annual telethon. Every year, the GSTV e-board decides on a different charity or organization to sponsor by raising both money and awareness for the chosen cause at the telethon.
For this year's event, held Oct. 18, GSTV chose to donate the telethon's proceeds to Amnesty International, an organization that focuses its efforts on the protection of universal human rights.
“Each year we alternate between a local charity and an international organization,” senior Rebecca Winn, special events co-coordinator and organizer of the telethon, said. “Last year we did Livingston County CARES, so this year we decided to stick with tradition and donate to an international [charity].”
Winn said the entirety of the funds collected at the telethon is sent directly to the chosen organization every year. GSTV hasn't been able to donate as much as they'd like to each organization, due to its lack of success in recent years.
“Last year we barely broke even,” senior Carly Fowler, special events co-coordinator, said. The station raised $20 last year, according to Winn.
It is because of this poor turnout that Winn said GSTV e-board has made so many changes to improve the event.
In the past, the telethons have included 24 full hours of live programming. This year, GSTV decided to cut the time frame down to 12 hours in the hopes of providing better and more enticing programming.
“In previous years we've had trouble filling up the times slots for the full 24 hours,” Winn said. “There would just be live feed of absolutely nothing. So this year, we decided to reduce the time in order to put quality first.”
The 12 hours of programming included a multitude of performers and acts, including live broadcasts of Geneseo Bhangra, Slainte Irish Dancers, Hips 'n' Harmony, Flute Choir, The Subconscious, The Ghana Project/Korye and Exit 8, as well as acoustic musical performances by Ara and Tom Greenfield, senior Jenny Keller and Kirsten, Gabriel Birkby and Katie Locke.
The telethon included fundraising activities like “Pie a GSTV Member,” a pumpkin carving contest, TV show trivia, a silent auction, movie trivia and a date auction.
This year's telethon raised over $300, a much higher accrual than recent years.