GrassRoots Telethon will feature ‘healthy’ nonprofit groups |

GrassRoots Telethon will feature ‘healthy’ nonprofit groups

Allyn Harvey
Aspen Times Staff Writer

GrassRoots TV and the Aspen Valley Medical Foundation are teaming up on a five-night telethon that will raise funds for the station and give some of the valley’s less well-known health and human services nonprofit groups a chance to become a little better known.

“How Healthy Are We?” will air from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. for five nights, beginning Sunday, on GrassRoots Channel 12. The telethon, hosted by the medical foundation’s Kris Marsh, will feature a different topic with different experts and nonprofit representatives each night.

“It promises to be informative, educational and powerful community television programming,” said John Masters, GrassRoots TV’s executive director.

The telethon kicks off Sunday with a program called “Youth Challenges.” Guests will include Aspen Schools Superintendent Tom Farrell, youth members of the Aspen Youth Center’s board of directors, client families from YouthZone, participants in Valley Partnership for Drug Prevention and buddies from The Buddy Program.

Monday’s program, “Handling Community Crisis,” will present emergency-room doctors, emergency medical technicians and members from emergency assistance organizations discussing how the medical and support community works during times of crisis.

Tuesday, Tina Staley, director of the new Aspen Valley Hospital program “Cancer Guides,” will team up with Rita Marsh, director of the medical foundation’s “Caring Connections” initiative to host “Integrative Health ? Body, Mind and Spirit.” The hosts and guests will explore the current relationship between traditional and nontraditional medicines.

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Dr. Phyllis Bronson will be joined Wednesday night by representatives from Community Health Services, the Family Visitor Program, Response and OB nurses from Aspen Valley Hospital to discuss “Health Issues for Women and Children.”

The telethon ends Thursday with a show called “Senior Perspective” that features members of the valley’s senior population, physicians and representatives from nonprofits that serve seniors.

“We hope that viewers will not only learn important relevant information about these issues, but also familiarize themselves with the often overlooked organizations that provide such important services,” Marsh, the host, said.

Station director Masters said he came up with the idea for the nightly, three-hour format for this year’s telethon as he was recovering from last year’s 30-hour marathon. It seemed like a good way to raise money for the station and highlight its strength as a community asset while exposing lesser-known nonprofits to the community.

“The reason this is a fund-raiser for GrassRoots TV is that the better the station is funded, the lower the financial barriers to making it available as a community resource,” Masters said.

The fund-raising goal for the telethon is $35,000. Masters said about $10,000 has already been committed by the Aspen Valley Medical Foundation and individual contributions from its board members.

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