Pictou County Christmas Fund announces 2020 telethon cancellation

Community COVID-19 Featured

NEW GLASGOW — The worldwide health pandemic COVID-19 continues to have a devastating effect on local families — in more ways than previously identified.

The Board of Directors for the 2020 Pictou County Christmas Fund have announced the postponement of the 46th annual telethon until November 28, 2021.

Social distancing requirements and limits on the numbers of people who can socially gather mean it wouldn’t be possible to hold registration and distribute grocery cards while also ensuring the safety of volunteers and community members.

It all culminates in the loss of ability to host the telethon. But not in the PCCF’s ability to fundraise.

Members are still going to raise as much money as possible for families in need. But the fundraising will take place in a different way, virtually.

Chair Debbie VanSickle says: “For the safety of the community and its volunteers, we felt it was best to postpone the actual telethon this year and focus instead on raising funds in another way which will be donated directly to the Pictou County Food Banks (Pictou East and West).”

The mandate of the PCCF is to help families in need over the Christmas holiday, and although the fundraiser will look different this year, the PCCF Board of Director’s commitment remains the same. This year, the focus will be on the online campaign to run for a one-month period Nov. 12-Dec. 12 on Facebook. To make an online donation, visit the group’s Facebook page.

Those who are able to donate to make Christmas a little bit brighter for county residents who need a little help are still able to make a monetary donation at the office of The Advocate newspaper, 21 George St., Pictou, as well as at any bank in Pictou County or the Credit Union in New Glasgow. These donations can be made at any time before the online campaign begins or during the four weeks of the campaign.

The telethon has been running since the mid-1970s. It has become an annual tradition, always with the focus of helping those in need.

“We hope the community will continue to support us during these difficult days amidst a global health pandemic,” VanSickle says.

The Board of the Directors for the Pictou County Christmas Fund had to make the difficult decision to postpone the annual fundraising telethon. Members include, from the left, back: Jackie Jardine, Debbie VanSickle and Tiffany Green. Front row: Jeff Nauffts, Brenda MacNutt and Ann MacGregor. Missing from the photo is Monique Sobey.