ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC)- For the past 51-years people from all over the region have opened up their hearts and their wallets to donate to a noble cause, the West Texas Rehab Center Telethon and Auction.
Even with so many struggling and facing hardships caused by the pandemic, this year the telethon raised $1,459,803.
“Last year was a record at $1.5-millon and you know with COVID and everything that went on, the community hurting like it is, a lot of businesses hurting like they are, we’re just blown away,” said West Texas Rehab Center President and CEO Steve Martin.
This is the 27th consecutive year the telethon has raised more than $1,000,000.
In order to hold the event safely, the rehab center had numerous safety precautions in place.
“Sanitizing ever time somebody changed a mic, every time somebody moved over, and our staff did a great job with masks and face shields,” said Martin.
Martin says he is thankful for all of the musical guests who were able to perform during the telethon, and he hopes the entertainment and the importance of this event helped everyone that tuned in.
“People love coming to West Texas, because people treat them with West Texas hospitality. They treat them with kindness, and for just the five hours tonight they sensed a brief sense of normalcy. Which none of us have had since February, March,” said Martin.
Money raised from the telethon each year is used to help medical professionals at the rehab center get the resources they need to care for their patients. Especially young children who need all the help they can get to make sure they can push past their medical problems, and live a long healthy life.
“These kids and these families are still fighting those same fights every day. To learn to walk, to learn to speak, to learn to eat,” said Martin.
For more than half a century the rehab telethon has provided heartwarming moments for people across West Texas, and the patients this fundraiser supports.
“This is our 68th year of service. We’ve been through a whole lot of tough times throughout those years, and this is up there with one of the most special moments we’ve ever had,” said Martin.