New Fairfield commission postpones telethon fundraiser
NEW FAIRFIELD — The Economic Development Commission was hoping to hold a virtual telethon to help struggling businesses in August, but it’s now looking at a later date.
The fundraiser has been in the works since March, when commissioner Ellen Perle suggested the idea as a way to help businesses impacted by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The original plan was to hold the telethon Aug. 16, but with so much work to be done, the commission decided to aim for sometime in September or October instead.
The exact date has yet to be determined.
Details and logistics of the telethon are still being ironed out, including which streaming platform would be used to broadcast the telethon, how donations will be collected and which businesses would be involved.
The commission will also need to check local stand-up comedian Christine O’Leary’s availability to emcee the event, Perle noted during the commission’s special meeting Monday night.
Before anything can move forward, Perle said the commission needs to figure out if it has the “foundation to really move forward,” which includes getting enough corporate contributions.
“Until we know which businesses we’re dealing with, if we have corporate sponsors willing to kick in a fair amount of money to cover the production costs ... and until we get a fire lit under this thing, we really can’t (move forward),” Perle said. “We can’t go after requests for submissions (and) we can’t come up with the date that we’re going to broadcast this until we get a good handle on who our corporate sponsors are (and whether) we have a co-presenter.”
The commission decided to create a survey for local businesses in order to identify which ones would benefit most from the telethon and have Chairman Myke Furhman compile a flyer to solicit donations and sponsors.
The Economic Development Commission’s next regular meeting is scheduled for Aug. 24 at 7:30 p.m. Due to COVID-19, the meetings are held via Zoom.