Telethon About A Month Away

By: Tim Timmons

“Where do you guys get these ideas?”

That’s probably the biggest question I’ve been asked from folks around the community when we talk about The Paper’s first-ever telethon.

If you’ve missed the details so far, it will take place on July 18 at the beautiful Masonic Cornerstone Event Center. It will kick off with the National Anthem (remember how TV used to always sign on with that?) bright and early at 7 a.m. and go continuously for 12 hours. The telethon will be broadcast live and in living color on the Internet and on our website,

Some of you have pointed out that we’ve come up with quite a few things in the nearly two decades of service our community. One of the biggest was The Challenge. That was a community promotion that brought leaders and well-known individuals together with the challenge of losing weight. Each participant got people to sponsor them financially and the wonderful Denise Reese at Athena Sports & Fitness supplied the location and trainers. The great Matt Oates at Franciscan Hospital hooked us up with cardiologists and nutrionists. And for 10 long weeks participants sweated, toiled, dieted and in general, lost weight. The very first year saw TCU’s Amy Wells win, and it was so much fun and successful that we did it two more times – and raised more than $30,000 for the community!

Of course, that’s not all.

We were one of the very first papers in the entire nation to create a paid, daily Online Edition – an Edition that today is FAR LARGER than our Print Edition. We were one of the very first to change from independent contractors delivering the paper, to delivery by the U.S. Postal Service – a move that enabled us to not raise subscription rates and one that greatly improved our service. We created the History-Mystery Tour – a one-mile walk around beautiful downtown Crawfordsville where we explore some of the eerie events of Montgomery County’s fun and sometimes spooky past. We partnered with the talented Karen Zach and came up with the popular monthly magazine, Montgomery Memories. We’ve brought you some of the most talented (and award-winning) columnists around . . . and now Montgomery County’s first-ever telethon.

But you know all that. After all, we are the only media in Montgomery County that is not owned by an out-of-state entity. Nothing against our newspaper and radio friends, but all their money heads south to other states while all of ours stays invested right here. And that has enabled us to be the community partner you expect. So far this year, we have donated more than $55,000 in free ads and community support. That is a track record none of our competitors can match.

But let’s get back to the telethon. We have scheduled time each hour to bring you different things – some musical acts, some community leaders, some entertainment . . . and those slots are filling up fast. If you would like to take part, let us know . . . fast. What does that look like? Well, think about those old Labor Day Telethons with Jerry Lewis. We’ll bring you multiple segments each hour for all 12 and let you enjoy watching some of the great entertainment in Montgomery County. But don’t worry, we aren’t allowing any blindfolded volunteers spinning on a large wooden board while a masked person throws knives!

So far we have a couple of pretty big names – the extremely talented Steve Trent has agreed to perform. And multiple Emmy-award winner Mike Haynes is flying in from Colorado to emcee the whole thing. Want to get in on the action? E-mail me at [email protected], but hurry!

So that’s kind of the whole thing in a nutshell – oh! Where do we come up with these ideas?

Truth to tell, they just pop up. When your goal is to be the biggest and best media partner in the county, it doesn’t exactly thrill aforementioned competition. So you best be doing stuff like this and being quick about it. After all, it’s harder to hit a moving target!

-Two cents, which is about how much Timmons said his columns are worth, appears periodically on Wednesdays in The Paper. Timmons is the publisher of The Paper and can be contacted at [email protected].