MCCRACKEN COUNTY, KY — Would you give-up a portion of your paycheck to help people in your community? That’s what employees are doing at Mid-America Conversion Services.

John McWaters says his cousin, Lana Donaldson, was born with special needs. He says the programs at Easter Seals helped her learn and grow.

“It’s helped her quite a bit and probably contributed to giving her the quality of life that she has right now and throughout all her years,” says McWaters. “My parents and myself got in front of the TV and watched the opening of the telethon at 10 o’clock that night. And that was the first thing we saw was Lana walk across the stage.”

That was more than 50 years ago. The telethon has changed since then, but the mission is still the same.

“It’s all about supporting the community,” says McWaters.

McWaters now works at Mid-America Conversion Services. Most of the employees there, including McWaters, are donating a portion of their paychecks to help people with special needs through the Lion’s Club-WPSD Telethon of Stars. The company matches employee donations. In the past 6 years, they’ve given a total of $91,456.

Jim Key started donating when he was 19.

“It just warms your heart and gives you a good feeling of helping someone,” says Key.

Plant Manager Phillip Weaver says it’s all about paying it forward. His team raised the most money at last year’s telethon. He says this year they’re taking it one step further by sponsoring the whole event.

“This workforce really is about, of course, taking care of their family, taking care of their community, being supportive of their country,” says Weaver. “I mean, this is a mission.”

The company says its already making plans to help support next year’s telethon.

“It makes me proud to be a part of it,” says McWaters.

The 61st Annual Lion’s Club-WPSD Telethon of Stars starts Saturday.