40 Years! Something Special….

There is something special about the next Eagles Heart and Cancer Telethon held in Prairie du Chien, Wi, on January 31, 2015.
It’s the 40th Telethon!
“This year promises to be extra special,” says Tom Nelson, one of the Eagles Heart and Cancer Telethon organizers and MCs. “The planning group has started monthly meetings early this year in anticipation of this anniversary. With each meting we add something new and exciting.”
In addition to Nelson, Tom Stram,  Natalie Stram, and Laurie Wild will host the Eagles Heart and Cancer Telethon. “We have so much to be thankful for”, says Stram. “The planning committee is discussing ways to include online bidding and expanding social media.”
The history of the Prairie du Chien Eagles Club Heart and Cancer Telethon dates back to 1976, when committee members included Bob Steele, Faye Grim, Dick Obmascher, Bob Sebastian, Edward Ferrin, Jim Bittner Sr., Richard Hagensack and Bob Zeil. Paul White started 39 years ago answering phones.  Each year, the talent is a little bit different; the long-time veterans bring back the favorites and the newcomers add a touch of their own flair. But in the end, the result is the same: the community of Prairie du Chien raises thousands of dollars for the Eagles Club Heart and Cancer Telethon. “This year, the viewer may see more live entertainment than ever before,” Wild adds. “We are talking about adding lots of singing talent.”
“Any expenses are paid for by the Eagles Club,” said Paul White, another telethon committee member who has been a part of the telethon since he started answering phones 37 years ago. “And the money we raise doesn’t just come out of Prairie du Chien. We get it from Eastman, Wauzeka, Bloomington, Boscobel, McGregor, Marquette, etc.”
The success of the telethon over the years wouldn’t be possible without the countless volunteers and businesses that donate money and in-kind items. Major sponsors are a big part of the night as they give $500 to sponsor one hour of the event. Everything from the tuxedos and food for the volunteers to telephone and auctioneering services, and the TV broadcast system has been donated.
Be sure to watch the telethon that will be held on January 31, 2015,  and consider doing your part for heart and cancer research.
“We never set a goal. But we say if we can raise $1 more, we’re happy,” Nelson said. “Obviously the objective of the telethon is to raise money, but the goal of the telethon is to bring the community together in an effort to recognize talents and give people a chance to gather and enjoy themselves.”
Updated information can be found at http://www.eaglestelethon.org and https://www.facebook.com/telethonpdc.