Pledge Day to have ‘different feel’ in 2020: Calgary Children’s Foundation

Pledge Day for Global News Radio 770 CHQR will, like every event hosted during this coronavirus pandemic, “have a different feel about it.”

That’s how 770 CHQR program director and Calgary Children’s Foundation (CCF) chair John Vos characterized the plans for the annual fundraiser on Dec. 4.

“Instead of inviting our loyal listeners and supporters to join us at Corus Centre on 17 Avenue S.W, we will be embracing the virtual approach and roll out Pledge Day entirely on the radio,” Vos said.

Read more: Over $240K raised for charity during 770 CHQR’s annual Pledge Day radiothon

Donations can be made on the CCF website or by calling 403-974-8255.

“It won’t sound too different from previous years,” CCF administrator Betty Jo Kaiser said.

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But due to provincial health orders restricting gatherings indoors, the usual bank of telephones will not be ringing in the background of the broadcast. And the musical entertainment will not be performed in-person.

Click to play video 'Calgary Children’s Foundation disburses Pledge Day funds to 30 charities' Calgary Children’s Foundation disburses Pledge Day funds to 30 charities

Calgary Children’s Foundation disburses Pledge Day funds to 30 charities – May 14, 2019

Instead, organizers arranged to have operators physically-distanced from each other, and on-air staff and musical performances will be done remotely.

It’s the first time in the event’s more than 45 years to have all of the stakeholders and supporters apart, rather than together.

“You will hear the same stories from the charities we help, and you’ll hear from our big supporters, like every year,” Kaiser said.

Friday’s fundraiser will include visits from Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi and country music star Paul Brandt.

After raising over $240,000 at 2019’s Pledge Day, the CCF granted funds to 17 different groups that help children throughout the city.

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A special focus was paid to mental health supports for children during the pandemic.

“The board felt it was important for that area of need to be addressed in the city,” Kaiser said.

The CCF made donations to organizations like the Distress Centre’s ConnecTeen program, Hospice Calgary’s Children’s Grief Centre and the Calgary Counselling Centre.

And like in years past, a significant portion of funds went to organizations supporting children with physical or developmental challenges, like GRIT Calgary Society or Ability 4 Good.

Read more: Pledge Day an opportunity to help Calgary kids that ‘fall through the cracks’

Having children and their families, organizations, donors and volunteers all under one roof for Pledge Day adds to the festive atmosphere for the December fundraiser.

“Will we miss the interactive in-person piece? Absolutely!” Vos said.

“But again, this year we’ll be asking Calgarians to be our companion to fund so many needy charities in our community.”

On Friday, donations will be taken by phone by calling 403-974-8255 and donations can be made anytime on the Calgary Children’s Foundation website.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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