First-Ever “Virtual” Easterseals Telethon will Air on ABC 25 and CW 7 this Sunday, July 19


After a delay of over three months due to COVID-19, the 43rd annual Easterseals Telethon will air THIS SUNDAY, JULY 19, ON ABC 25 (4-6pm) and CW 7 (5-6pm). A new “VIRTUAL TELETHON” format is designed to safeguard individuals’ health while sharing compelling local stories and encouraging donations. Easterseals needs the community’s support now more than ever, due to higher expenses and cancelled fundraisers during the pandemic, and is grateful to ABC 25/CW 7 leadership for their commitment to making the broadcast possible. Telethon proceeds are crucial for Easterseals to continue essential therapy services for children and adults with disabilities who couldn’t otherwise afford them.

The Telethon has been shortened from its usual 6 hours to 2 hours on Sunday, July 19, with the first hour (4-5pm) on ABC 25, and the second hour (5-6pm) on both ABC 25 and CW 7. To comply with social distancing and other health and safety precautions, there will be no on-site audience or public activities at the Easterseals Rehabilitation Center, where the Telethon is usually held.

Eyewitness News anchors Brad Byrd and Shelley Kirk will host the Telethon from the ABC 25/CW 7 studios and will conduct live interviews via Skype. Among those sharing their stories will be 2020 Easterseals Adult Ambassador Sandy Ford and Child Ambassador Ellie-Jane Pfingston, both of Evansville.

Easterseals asks the community to help overcome the nonprofit’s current fundraising shortfall AND the shorter Telethon broadcast by giving online, both in advance leading up to the show and during the Telethon. A SPECIAL INCENTIVE TO GIVE IS ALREADY UNDER WAY: ALL TELETHON DONATIONS WILL BE MATCHED BY GENEROUS SPONSORS AND FRIENDS OF EASTERSEALS! THAT MATCHING OPPORTUNITY IS IN EFFECT NOW, AND WILL CONTINUE UNTIL THE END OF THE TELETHON BROADCAST (SUN., JULY 19, 4- 6PM). The matching applies not only to pledges during the show, but also to online gifts made 24 hours a day, until Sunday at 6pm, to and to Matching funds may be limited, so supporters are encouraged to donate early.

Viewers are also encouraged to watch the show and call in pledges as usual during the 2-hour Telethon, and those phoned-in pledges will also be matched! The following phone numbers will be available ONLY during the show: 812-491-9191 in the Evansville area or 877-929-2929 outside the Evansville area. Donations may also be mailed to Easterseals, 3701 Bellemeade Ave., Evansville IN 47714.

Two very important aspects of the Telethon remain the same: (1) ALL DONATIONS STAY LOCAL and (2) ABC 25/CW 7 is the only station group in the U.S. known to donate 100% of all production and air time for a local Easterseals Telethon. The stations’ generous commitment allows the Easterseals Rehabilitation Center to spread the word about its mission; inform viewers about its essential programs and services; and receive crucial financial support from the community, so no one is ever turned away due to inability to pay for therapy.

Special thanks to major community partners ABC 25, Alcoa, Atlas World Group, CW 7, D-Patrick, E’ville Iron Street Rod Club, Fifth Third Bank, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #73, Old National Bank, Ritzy’s, Shoe Carnival, Teamsters Local 215, and West Side Nut Club.

The Easterseals Rehabilitation Center serves approximately 5,100 children and adults with disabilities from a 30-county area of Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois. No one is turned away due to inability to pay for medical rehabilitation therapy, which is offered on a sliding fee scale. All local contributions to the Easterseals Rehabilitation Center – including all Telethon pledges – stay in the community, underwriting therapy sessions for individuals who cannot otherwise afford these life-changing services at the Easterseals Rehabilitation Center.  More information is available at