The 42nd Annual Communithon has come to a close and at the end of the 15-hour event, over $100,000 was raised to help benefit 10 member agencies.
While the words "absolutely incredible" were frequently used in regard to the total, there is more than just money that goes into making Communithon successful.
“This year was fantastic,” said Community Agency Member Laura Eddy. “So the first year, I was just a volunteer, we weren't a member agency. The second year was our first year as a member agency and I honestly didn't know the amount of work that went into it, and I don't think anybody does until they're involved.”
The call for volunteers for the annual fall event goes out in the Summer and Weyburn never disappoints.
"So we start meeting in August looking for volunteers and then we you know, meet in September a little bit and then it's weekly with all the agencies and the executives," said Eddy. "But then there are also sub-meetings in there. So there is so much work going on behind the scenes. We had people working on the 50/50, I was working on the online auction and so yeah, once October comes, there are so many moving parts with the Communithon and I just don't think people realize the amount of hours that these volunteers are putting in. And then we get to the day of. We have one of our community members like Lindsay. They're not involved with an agency, they're just doing it because they love communication. And I mean, Lindsay wasn't here today. She was sick. But you probably saw us on our phones. It was her connecting with us because she felt left out because she couldn't be here. She loves Communithon so much. And yeah, she just has a great vibe and she gets people pumped up. So it was really awesome for her to still connect with us."
Eddy also noted that, while you may initially volunteer for one part of Communithon, it's great to experience other parts.
"The first year I did production, I got thrown into announcing," she laughed. "I didn't think that was my jam and I'm like, I love this. That is my favorite part to be announcing and you see the donations coming in, you're up front with the entertainment. You get to engage with people that you don't know most of the time."
She also made sure to throw kudos to the Youth Ambassador squad.
"This year with the ambassadors, I just really got a different vibe. I felt like they brought the city into it and the community into it and the kids because we have so many new people in town and they just don't know what Communithon is. I talked to a gentleman today. He's like, I don't know what this is. So just again, they educated people to why we have Communithon."
The Youth Ambassadors echoed a lot of Eddy's sentiments.
"It's way bigger than I ever thought it could be,” said Youth Ambassador Natalie Butz. "When I was a younger kid I did not dream it would be this much work. We have so many volunteers doing so much work constantly. We're always running around helping out. It's very, very busy."
She noted, however, that the busy days are worth it.
"All the elementary school kids, their bright happiness, is just so nice for the community to see, and that definitely brought in a lot of money for us today."
Another of the ambassadors, Jillian Payak, noted that she was honoured to be able to connect with one of Communithon's long-time supporters.
"I really loved visiting Katherine Groshong at the nursing home," she said. "It was really fun to talk to her and see her experiences and then we got to sing the Communithon song that she wrote. And that was really inspiring. "
Throughout the day, Weyburnites far and wide called in their donations, donated online or went to one of the many fundraising events happening throughout town. At the end of the night, an anonymous $5,000 donation was announced which brought the final total to $100,168, surpassing the goal by $18,145.
While that money will be split up amongst the 10 member agencies, Laura Eddy reiterated that, while the money is what is needed, it doesn't happen without another special donation.
"Really just the donation of time," she said. "I know we talk about money all the time, but again, we had people that have been with the Communithon for years and years and years and they come back. Katherine Groshong, she does this song every year and I guess the donation of her songs and then us being able to give her the Communithon when she couldn't be here. We always talk about money, but I again,I just think about those community things and the dedication that some people have to Communithon."
In response to Canada's Online News Act and Meta (Facebook and Instagram) removing access to local news from their platforms, we encourage you to get your news directly from your trusted source by bookmarking this page and downloading the DiscoverWeyburn app.