Changes to annual telethon expected to benefit more people

Almost every day, you’ll find Mia Bryan playing with her friends inside the Lilly Pad at Easter Seals West Kentucky, a daycare facility in Paducah that cares for kids with special needs.

At 3 years old, Mia suffers from something called Esotropia. "A condition where she struggles with depth perception," says Elizabeth Mason, director of marketing and development at Easter Seals.

When Mia started coming here, she was 1 year old, and she did not talk at all. Now, she’s bubbly, bright and does not stop talking, and it’s programs like the telethon that are helping kids like Mia.

"Without the telethon, the funding for the Lilly Pad, the CDC and our Adult Services Center wouldn’t be there," says Mason.

This year, the Telethon of Stars is a little different than in previous years.

Rather than an all night event, the 59th annual telethon will be four hours long.

For the past 18 years, WPSD’s Vice President of News and Operations Bill Evans has helped out with the telethon. He says the changes will benefit more people than in years past.

"It’s still going to be a televised event," says Evans. "You’re still going to be able to call in and donate to the Telethon of Stars, but you now have the opportunity to come down and enjoy the show."

Evans says the money from the concert’s ticket sales will also go towards helping people like Mia.

"We hope that people will embrace the changes because the need is the same," says Mason.

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