A good Christmas for needy families in Iroquois Falls has been assured by the 39th annual telethon for the Bill Harkins-Eugene Ricard Santa Claus Fund.

Saturday’s event was livestreamed on the web for the second consecutive year. Chairman Rick Charlebois says it matched last year’s fundraising momentum.

“We’re overwhelmed with the generosity and the support that we’re getting from the community and the community at large,” he told My Cochrane Now Dot Com, “because we’ve got – let’s see now – somebody from Australia, supporters, so we do have a worldwide audience.”

The Bellemares in Dinner Plain, Victoria, Australia pledged $20.00.

The pot was sitting at just over $15,000 when the show ended after about four-and-a-half hours, from pledges called in. Charlebois says that’s not the end of it.

“Last year, for about two weeks after that, we kept updating the figures almost every other day, and the numbers kept going up and up and up and we couldn’t believe it, but there it was.”

Last year’s final total was about $22,000.

All the money goes to food and clothing vouchers for needy Iroquois Falls families. Charlebois says any surplus is kept in the bank for a rainy day.