Rotary Telethon Raises $22,000 for Ukrainian Relief

It may not win an Emmy Award, but the Chelsea Rotary Telethon for Ukrainian Humanitarian Relief was a big enough “hit” to donators that it raised $22,000 during its live streaming and then Chelsea Community Cable TV replay.

“We were hoping to creep into the teens of thousands but raising $22,000 is a tribute to our great community again showing up to help others,” praised Todd Taylor, Chelsea City Council and Chelsea Rotary president.

Taylor was one of several hosts of the 3-hour marathon telethon, joined by Chelsea School Superintendent Almi Abeyta, former city manager and state economic affairs secretary Jay Ash, business leaders Madelyn Garcia and Susan Gallant, and Chelsea Public Schools (CPS) Equity, Diversity, & Excellence Director Aaron Jennings, all of whom are Chelsea Rotarians.  Former Chelsea City Councilor Juan Vega also served as a host and provided updates in Spanish throughout the broadcast.

“Our telethon was hosted by a great group of leaders in our community, and supported by dozens of Rotarians, volunteers, and students and administrators from Chelsea Public Schools.  I’d give a special shout-out to the contributions of CPS, as well as the tremendous work of Chelsea Community Cable’s Paula Batchelor and Ricky Velez, as well as Matt Frank on our social media needs, for all joining us in service to the Ukrainian people suffering as a result of the Russian invasion of their homeland,” stressed Taylor, who also thanked the Senior Center for being the physical host of the event.

Sponsors of the telethon included Metro Credit Union, Today’s Collision, East Cambridge Savings Bank, Madelyn Garcia Real Estate, Krazy Kats Embroidery, John’s Pizza, and Kayem Foods, with the latter providing the biggest donation of the day: $5,000.  The highlight of the fundraising effort that directs money through the country’s top-rated charity, Rotary International, to on the ground efforts in the Ukraine and surrounding countries may have been the presentation from the Kelly School students and administrators.

“The first number hung on the board was $700, representing the amount the Kelly School students raised amongst themselves by doing a school fundraiser to support Ukrainian relief.  It was a great way to get our tote board going, and such a tremendous gesture by our kids and their staff to reach around the globe and make a difference in the lives of those in need,” added Taylor.

The telethon, which featured entertainment; a game show; videos from elected leaders like Governor Charlie Baker, Senator Ed Markey, and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley; a live interview with City Manager Tom Ambrosino, and discussion of the impacts of Rotary here in Chelsea and abroad, can still be viewed on the Chelsea Rotary Facebook page and Chelsea Community Cable’s YouTube channel.  Donations can still be made to Chelsea Rotary by clicking on the QR code on the telethon flyer or sent to the Chelsea Rotary Foundation, PO Box 505647, Chelsea, MA, 02150.

“It was a special event making us all proud to show off Chelsea and our Chelsea Rotary Club all around the world,” concluded Taylor.

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