Telethon of Stars changes to ‘Celebration Concert’

What was once called the Lions Club WPSD Local 6 Telethon of Stars is now The Telethon of Stars Celebration Concert. Many shared their memories about the Telethon, which allows folks to help hundreds of special needs kids and adults, through the years on our Facebook page.

The 59th annual Telethon of Stars will not be a two day, 15 hour event. Instead, the Telethon of Stars Celebration Concert will be a one day, four hour event. The concert will air during prime time from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14. Coordinators say it was time to embrace change for the bigger picture.

David and Valerie Fleming say it's rare when they can enjoy each other's company on the riverfront. But they say there's one event they always make an appointment to turn on: the Telethon of Stars.

"(We) used to sort of argue who was going to call in," Valerie says. "And he always waited me out, and I was the one that called in."

Charlie Katterjohn, who is co-executive producer with Kenny Jones, says the change was needed to keep the telethon and its message viable. Katterjohn says they felt like they needed to make a change and make people more aware of the telethon.

"We used to be the only show in town, and over the years we've had all the other venues offering great talent, great shows," Katterjohn says.

Chairman Richard Beck says it's exciting to see all the changes this year brings. He says the 59th year is a prelude to the 60th and they will continue to make changes and adjustments. Beck says, ultimately, the concert is to better benefit and remember those who the event is really about.

"We're going be able to do more to help these centers. We're going to be able to do more to help these kids these adults," Beck says.

The telethon will still include gospel music and feature ambassadors who receive care from the centers that benefit.

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