Saturday night/Sunday morning was my 20th Lions Club Telethon of Stars. Hard to believe. It makes for a lot of fun on the long night. I played twice, at 4 AM and again about 5:15 AM. Lot's of us who play the long overnight shift have gotten to know each other and it's like a family reunion.
It was good to see my old buddies Rhonda Belford, a talented singer-songwriter out of Southern Illinois, Becky Freeman, a talented singer from Cadiz who's had us for the Cadiz Relay for Life Benefits over the years, and my former co-worker Johnette Worak, along with some of my other former co-workers from TV, including John Champion along with his lovely wife Michelle, and Jeff Bidwell.
This year the Telethon was moved to the Carson Center for the Performing Arts because of construction at the Expo Center in Paducah. The Carson Center is a beautiful hall and I love playing there. The telethon made the 3rd time I've gotten to play there. The telethon itself is the longest running locally produced telethon in the nation. This was the 52nd year. It benefits Easter Seals West Kentucky in Paducah; T.L.C. of Southern Illinois; Community Developmental Services (CDS) in Martin, Tennessee; and Easter Seals Southeast Missouri. All of the centers deal with disabled children and adults, with CDS focusing primarily on adults. All of the money raised by the telethon goes directly to these centers. At PATS, we transport several of the people served by Easter Seals, so in that way, the telethon is closer to my heart than ever before. The more I've met them through my work at PATS, the more I've realized just how special they are.
I played the 335 through their backline, which for me was a Fender Deluxe. It's always tough to get the tone dialed in with a 30 second sound-check, but in these situations, it's necessary, and it sounded pretty good! (thanks Joe and the rest of the crew!) I'm usually in low gear for a day or so after telethon night, so I'm glad it's only once a year, but it's a wonderful night for a very worthy cause.