NHTV, Rotarians to host telethon for Japanese relief
On April 30, North Haven Community Television (NHTV) will broadcast the local Rotary Club’s telethon fundraiser for Japanese relief efforts after last month’s Pacific Ocean earthquake and tsunami disaster.
Both station staff and North Haven’s Rotarians will volunteer for the telethon, which will air live on NHTV channel 18 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, with reruns in the same four-hour time slot on May 1, 7 and 8.
“One hundred percent of the proceeds go to the cause,” said NHTV Executive Director Walter Mann. “It’s important on NHTV’s behalf to be an important component in the community during stuff like this.”
In 2010, married Rotarians Mark and Mary Minotti, proprietors of Minotti Music/Cabana Café, 473 Washington Avenue, helped produce a Rotary Club telethon on NHTV to benefit Haiti after its devastating earthquake.
“This year, as soon as we saw everything that was happening in Japan, Mary and I looked at each other and we said, ‘Here we go, it’s time for another telethon,’” Mark said.
First Selectman Michael Freda will open the program, followed by bands, local acts and entertainment by Minotti Music students, according to Mary. Hosts include Ken Venit, longtime television personality and Quinnipiac University journalism professor, who will be interviewing performers. “No single person in the whole event is getting paid,” Mary said.
Rotarian Jonathan Martinek will host a Japanese cooking segment. “The heartfelt thing with Jonathan is that his wife is Japanese,” Mary said. “Her whole family is over there.”
Additional local television stations in other Connecticut municipalities will also carry NHTV’s transmission, including Branford, North Branford and Madison, all on those towns’ channel 18. “We got the Rotary Clubs of those towns to help out in carrying the feed. A big thanks goes out to those chapters,” Mike said. “We’re still looking to get a few other stations to pick up the feed.”
Moreover, anybody with AT&T’s U-verse can watch the telethon through the service.
For Haiti, North Haven Rotary Club’s telethon raised $2,800. Mike aimed to take in $10,000 for Japan. “I figure we could do $2,000 per town,” he said.
Donations collected will go toward Rotarian initiatives already begun in Japan, along with Red Cross and other charitable organizations also assisting with relief efforts.
To generate telethon awareness, Mike and Mary are promoting across numerous mediums. “I’ve posted this on the Rotary Club’s Facebook, the International Rotary Club Facebook page. We’re using all kinds of different technologies to get this out,” Mike said.
“Someone actually messaged me back and said, ‘Charity begins at home,’” he continued. “Well, I think this world is one big family, one home, and what affects one, affects all. And it’s not just the tsunami disaster that happened to Japan, but the nuclear disaster that is still going on.”
Mary concurred. “You see the self-sacrifice of the men and women in those reactors over there. They know what they’re getting into,” she said. “This volunteer work is nothing compared to that.”
Mann was eager to help out North Haven’s Rotary Club. “NHTV and the Rotary Club worked together last year. We helped them out,” he said. “We try to be the middlemen and set up the technical side. It’s teamwork. The Rotary Club is a tremendous organization.”
“Everybody at NHTV will be donating their time,” he added.
For more information, contact NHTV at 203-234-0025. Checks for donations can be made out to the North Haven Rotary Club, and mailed to: The North Haven Rotary Club, P.O. Box 202, North Haven, Connecticut, 06473.