ONTARIO — The 31th annual Catalyst Rehab Virtual Telethon is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 5, at WMFD TV Station, with volunteers manning phones to raise money for mental health crisis services and programs to help people thrive despite any disabilities throughout north central Ohio.
The telethon will take place from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Feb. 5, broadcast by WMFD from its studio at 2900 Park Avenue West.
Last year, the annual telethon raised more than $120,000 for services to area residents.
All proceeds will benefit Catalyst Life Services / The Rehab Center on Scholl Road in Mansfield, according to Melissa Drozda, spokeswoman for Catalyst/Rehab Center.
Community leader Doc Stumbo is serving as this year's chairman with Nick Gesouras, telethon co-chair.
"I'm excited to chair the telethon this year. I've been involved since the beginning," Stumbo said.
"This is a great opportunity for the Mansfield community to support a local agency that provides essential services for many," said News Journal editor David Yonke. "I'm grateful that the telethon is raising awareness and making it easy to donate to such a good cause."
Local celebrities, VIP hosts, community guests and success stories of clients who have benefited from the Rehab Center's services will be featured throughout the day.
Over the course of the telethon's 30 years, the agency has raised more than $2.6 million with 300 volunteers making the annual event a success, Drozda said. The first telethon in 1992 raised $44,924.
The lineup includes community guests, entertainment, success stories and more.
Community guests include Jodie Perry of the Mansfield-Richland Area Chamber/Economic Development; entertainment by Huckster Drive band; Donna and Jeff Heck of 33 Forever; Zach Paradis, singer/musician, and Laura Montgomery, CEO of Catalyst Life Services.
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Pledges may be made by calling 419-529-5200 during the telethon. Online donations can be made anytime through the website, catalystlifeservices.org/donate.
There will be volunteers manning phone banks, and hourly sponsors.
Donations made during the telethon will assist the agencies in providing services to those who would not otherwise be able to access these life-changing benefits, according to Drozda.
Catalyst CEO Laura Montgomery said, "It has truly been amazing watching so many individuals from the community come together to support the 31st Catalyst Rehab Telethon. I am grateful to Melissa Drozda, marketing and development director, for all her efforts; Doc Stumbo telethon chair, Nick Gesouras telethon co-chair and all the members of our Telethon Committee. The funds raised during the telethon support so many individuals in Richland County with much needed services. I am excited to see our final results this year and I am confident we will feel supported by the community as we have in years past.”
People can watch the telethon on Facebook Live at home on WMFD's Facebook page where it will be streamed live all day.
Catalyst Life Services provides audiology and deaf services, addiction services, vocational services and mental health and crisis services.
This article originally appeared on Mansfield News Journal: Catalyst Rehab Telethon is Feb. 5 at WMFD-TV station