For almost half a century, Kodiak’s Noon Rotary has been taking to the television and phone lines to help raise money for community projects and activities. This year’s telethon will be a different one than some folks are used to.
In years past, the telethon would be broadcast on television, listing items up for auction and folks would have to call in and place their bids if they saw something they liked.
“This year, they will still be bidding by telephone, but the difference is that it’s going to all be online as well.”
That’s Maggie Wall, who is helping organize this year’s Rotary Telethon. She said the multiple day event will be streamed live, and blogged in real time. Likewise, event volunteers will be posting all of the items and bidding schedules on Facebook, so folks will know when they need to call.
“So there are ways to follow the action without being glued to the television.”
As it has in years past, Wall said KVOK will also be broadcasting the telethon live.
The goal was to make the event more convenient and “mobile.” In the past, those wanting to participate would have to watch the TV or listen to the radio at all times.
“And so you would just follow it all night long and sometimes things took longer, sometimes things took lesser. Sometimes things bid real fast, you call in your bid. So there’s bidding, live bidding over the telephone, using watching it on television and listening on KVOK, depending on where you’re out and what you’re doing.
Now, they’ll be able to check in on their mobile devices or from a computer and get a better idea of when they should call in.
Wall said the auctioned items vary, and are typically donated by local businesses and organizations. She said the event has been fortunate to have a lot of community support over the years, including hundreds of donated items for the auction.
The money goes to Noon Rotary and is used for various community projects – things like the Rotary Vista at Dead Man’s Curve, as well as leadership programs for teens and scholarship opportunities.
This year’s telethon will take place from November 5th until the 7th. Folks can find out more by visiting kodiakrotarytelethon.com.
Also new this year is a training opportunity for Rotarians and community members on internet marketing. Since this year’s event is online, Wall said she will be offering training for folks to learn how to utilize online tools for fundraising and business marketing.
“The idea of internet marketing – using your website, using Facebook to market your events, to market your businesses, is something that’s new here in town still. So we’re going to be training the Rotarians how to do it and so we decided to open it up to anybody who wants to come, for free, they can come for two hours and learn how to market their business. And physically do it because we’re going to be working on our project.”
While the training is free, Wall said they are asking that those who attend to volunteer for a few hours during the telethon next month.
The internet marketing training will take place tonight at 5 p.m. in the Harbor Room at the Best Western Kodiak Inn. Those interested should plan on bringing their lap top and cell phones so they can actually practice what they’ll be learning.