Pam Pardy-Ghent: Give From the Gut

I was honoured to once again have an opportunity to work the phone banks at this year’s Janeway Telethon, and the opportunity to give so little in the way of time once again gave so much more in return. 

First of all, if you’ve never trained under Barry Lewis Green, you’re missin’ out. He’s high energy (without the aid of coffee or energy drinks, he’s more than happy to tell ya) and fun, while also making sure the need-to-know facts are hammered home. 

There was laughter, squeals, cheers, and high levels of energy as my merry crew headed off – one hand held tightly to our day-care styled rope so we wouldn’t mess up our order – to begin our shift. 

that first phone call

Even waiting to take your seat at the Telethon is a rush. Co-Host Judy Stirling dropped by to wish us well and sprinkle us with her special brand of magical dust for good luck. Daughter Lydia McLaughlin worked the line with smiles and well-wishes as she and her mom tried to find their matching crowns before heading back on air. 

But the best part? Taking a seat by those phones. There’s absolutely nothing like that first phone call. While my first few pledges were all between $25 and $100, I did have an opportunity to ring my bell and yahoo! and ye-haw! it up when a pledge came in for $2,000 from a group of enthusiastic book-selling seniors. But no matter the amount pledged, there’s nothing like talking to Newfoundlanders proud of their Janeway involvement, big or small. 

One highlight? A call from an old around-the-bay friend, Alice, who just happened to get me when she called in. Alice, it was grand to have that wee little yarn, and it was an honour to take your second pledge of the day. 

From children to seniors to old pals, my time on the phone flew by. There was time for a few just-for-fun phone-bank selfies, and to mug a little for some ‘call me’ fun for the NTV cameras, but mostly, our time was spent taking pledges from locals who wanted to give. 

a record year 

And give they did. By the time the totals were in, it was a record year. This year’s Telethon raised over $3.5 million. 

What’s amazing about the Janeway Telethon is how good the giving makes everyone feel. From the tireless NTV/OZFM crew – to the on camera folk and the behind the scene crew – they gave it their all and then some, and the smiles linger even when the cameras are off. But so many volunteer hands make this event a success. 

From hyper, energetic phone-bank trainer Barry Lewis Green to the lovely pledge picker-upper Tammy White to every single person who manned a phone line during the Telethon weekend, your enthusiastic giving from the gut helped make the weekend the fun, amazing tally-totaling extravaganza it was. 

But most importantly, the gut-givers who need to be called out were those who called in to help all our kids. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you for picking up those phones and giving phone bank volunteers like myself a reason to smile and the motivation to return year after year.

Pam Pardy Ghent, The Herald’s Managing Editor, can be reached by emailing [email protected]

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