WELLSBURG, N.Y. (18 NEWS) – The annual Arctic League Telethon is happening on Sunday to raise to money for needy kids in Chemung County.

Members of the charity group cut down this year’s donated Christmas tree in Wellsburg. The Wheeler family donated the tree and will get the honor of lighting it this Sunday when the Telethon begins. The family is proud to be donating the tree, especially because volunteering with the Arctic League is one of their holiday traditions.  

“Three generations of us have always delivered Arctic League bags on Christmas morning,” Dolores Wheeler said.

After the tree was cut, it was transported to Clemens Center to be decorated by volunteers. The charity encourages everyone to tune into the Telethon and open their hearts to help those in need.

“It’s an opportunity for the community to watch a three hour show of great entertainment and make a contribution to the Arctic League so that all needy children in Chemung County will have a merry Christmas,” Arctic League member Tom Bruner said.

The Arctic League is the oldest private charity in Chemung County and has been helping children in need for over a century. Janice Williams, President of the Arctic League says they couldn’t do it alone.
“We’re 103 years old and we wouldn’t be 103 if it weren’t for the community, they’re so dedicated and generous and it really keeps us going,” Williams said.

The community can feel good about donating to the Arctic League because all the proceeds collected from its charity campaigns go directly to those in need.
“One of the reasons I think we’re so so successful is 100 percent of what is donated goes directly to purchasing the toys, the books, the hats, the mittens, everything for the children for Christmas morning,” Williams said.

Although the Arctic League has enough contributions for this Christmas, donations collected from this year’s Telethon are used to purchase gifts for next year.
“This is all for next year and it’s just through the generosity of the community that all these Chemung County children get a nice Christmas. We reached last year 3,774 children, I mean it was amazing, over 1600 families,” Williams said.

The Arctic League Telethon will be broadcast live on WETM-TV Sunday from 10 a.m.- 1 p.m. and takes place at Clemens Center in Downtown Elmira.