Wood County Society's 50th annual telethon raises more than $146,000

PARKERSBURG W.Va, (WTAP)- The Wood County Society held a milestone telethon on Sunday with the help of some of WTAP's own.

“Wood County Society is celebrating our 50th telethon and our 60th year of impact in the community. We provide opportunities for individuals with disabilities by assisting them and broadening opportunities through various programs and various resources,” explains Brandon Gress, Executive Director of the Wood County Society.

The telethon is the group’s only fundraiser for the year and the money goes towards their expanding list of programs. This year, the grand total was $146,363.

“Over the course of 2019, through the generosity of our community, and the investment that they have in the Wood County Society through their contributions, Wood County Society is not just going to be offering our programs that the community knows us for, but we’re going to be offering some new initiatives including autism services in the Mid-Ohio Valley. As well, we’re going to be offering our new art therapy and rehabilitation program which are going to include, in the future, music therapy and art therapy rehabilitation,” Gress notes.

Camp Echo is one of the biggest programs the group facilitates where individuals with disabilities can attend a camp and participate in programs specifically for their needs. The camp provides medical care, one-on-one counseling, and other accommodations to foster learning.

“It really does take an army to make it happen. It takes this telethon to make it happen because that camp would be over $40,000 a year to run so it takes raising a lot of money and that’s just one thing that we do,” says Nathan Reese, Co-Director with Camp Echo.

The group helped over 1,800 individuals last year, but they feel that their impact expands beyond those in their programs.

“This is going to assist not only to the people who need this, going to add value to their lives; it’s going to add to the people who volunteer. It’s also just as transformative for the people who get involved and volunteer than it is for the people who are part of it,” expresses Reese.

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