When envisioning a telethon the first thing that might come to mind is volunteers manning a phone bank for 24-hours but while Jay Tolman may have named his annual event a telethon it’s more like a non-stop party.
“Even though we don’t have phones we have a lot of people who stop-in and make donations, buy raffles,” says Tolman
From 6PM Sunday until 6PM Monday, Congregation Sha’aray Shalom in Hingham was transformed into the telethon’s home base. Outdoor children activities, live bands, and snow cones were a few of the special features included in the Labor Day event.
For the past 36-years, the Tolman Telethon has raised money for muscular dystrophy which is a crippling disease that can be fatal.
“There are actually 43 types of neuromuscular disease. Some of them are genetic, some are not, some are fatal, a lot of them are fatal where kids pass away in the twenties or thirties,” explains Tolman
Gail from Hingham is a former teacher who’s attended the event for nearly 25-years and though neither she nor any family member has muscular dystrophy, the topic still hits close to home for her, “I had a student who has it and he was just a wonderful, young man so that was also a motivating factor and I think once you start having grandchildren you just hope they always stay healthy and if you can help prevent these diseases it would be terrific.”
20-hours into the daylong event the Tolman Telethon raised about $6,000.
According to Tolman, over the life of the telethon they’ve helped raise $523,000 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.