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Life-changing TV: it's telethon time

Tune in Saturday to be entertained, make a pledge or bid on an item, all in the name of helping Key Center clients.

Published July 28, 2006

A chance to bid on a decent selection of gifts, along with live entertainment and whatever else can happen during nine hours of live television, takes place Saturday during the annual Run for the Money Telethon.

The event, themed "A Night Among Stars" this year, will present stories of the mentally retarded men and women who are Key Center clients.

Viewers will see video from the daily activities at the Key Center and enjoy performances by various local entertainers.

"Several of our program participants' daily activities and accomplishments will be aired, showing how they continue to grow from Key Center services such as classroom instruction, vocational training, daily living teaching, employment coaching and supported independent living assistance," Key Center Foundation spokeswoman Melissa Walker wrote in a press release.

She said all of the Key Center's services work closely together to give developmentally disabled adults the opportunity to reach their lifestyle goals.

The Key Center telethon offers a diverse lineup of local musicians and entertainers.

For those who like to shop at home, auction items include celebrity and sports memorabilia and items donated by local businesses.

Viewers will be able to call in bids for the following items:

9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Two tickets to the Gretchen Wilson and Blake Shelton concert on Dec. 9 at Rock Crusher Canyon; aboriginal frame prints; The Sopranos DVD collection of the first five seasons; and an autographed baseball by Atlanta Braves baseball player Tim Hudson.

1 to 5 p.m.: Post office stamp poster honoring 9/11 victims; quilt made by Key Training Center clients; Mike Hampton Pitching in Foundation basket, including an autographed baseball by Mike Hampton, Atlanta Braves pitcher, and a Nike sport bag and visor, golf balls, Braves bracelet, and foundation T-shirt; painting by wildlife artist Don Mayo; and a Rhoades Car four-wheel bike with canopy top, mirror, lights, golf bag carrier and speedometer.

Many businesses are adding extra incentives to encourage pledges.

While supplies last, those giving a pledge during the telethon could receive free items from fast-food restaurants and an autographed copy of One Hundred Yards of Sand - Life Through a Poet's Eyes, by local author E.E. Orewiler.

With a pledge of $25 or more, donors will receive a dogwood, oak, redbud or cypress sapling, compliments of the Citrus County Tree Enhancement Program.

Volunteers answering the phones will come from Altrusa of Citrus County, the Citrus County Chronicle, Corrections Corp. of America, Citrus County Rotary Club presidents, Crystal River Rotary Club, Knights of Columbus Abbot Francis Sadlier No. 6168, Real Life Christian Church and Sprint.

Employees of Progress Energy will work behind the scenes operating studio cameras.

Hosts Neale Brennen, Curtis Rich and Melissa Walker will be joined by many other hosts to put the nine-hour production on the air.

Jorge Sanchez covers arts and entertainment in Citrus County. Contact him at or 860-7313.

[Last modified July 27, 2006, 23:21:14]

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