The Student News Site of Canalside Chronicles

Canalside Chronicles

The Student News Site of Canalside Chronicles

Canalside Chronicles

The Student News Site of Canalside Chronicles

Canalside Chronicles

A second chance
May 7, 2024

Lollypop Farm’s Telethon Triumph

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By Robert Merrill / Staff Writer

Fairport, NY Lollypop Farms’ 2024 telethon combined new ideas and better marketing to beat last year’s donations by over $40,000. The 150-year-old animal sanctuary houses over 300 animals and employs over 100 people. 

Funds from the Telethon help the Shelter wave adoption fees which lets them get more animals into loving homes. Posters in the lobby help keep track of which animals are available for adoption on April. 2,2024 (Canalside Chronicles photo/Robert Merrill)

Lollypop Farm’s communications director, Ashley Zeh, says the event is crucial to the rescue’s continued operations.

“90% of everything that we do here at Lollypop Farm is donation-funded. So, the telethon is our first largest donation fundraiser; it’s the biggest piece of the puzzle for us.  Every year, we try to reach as high as we can. We definitely exceeded our goal for this year,” Zeh said.

Stevens Media Group employee Jonathan Goehring, who helped organize and host the event, attributes its success to marketing before the event. 

“They really focused more heavily on promoting it ahead of time,” Goehring said. It was the first year that they teamed up with the Auto Mall as the location sponsoring it. They had done it at the Lollypop Farm in the past. The more organizations that team up together, the bigger something becomes; I think that really has to do with why it ended up being a record-setting year.”

Unlike many shelters Lollypop Farm takes on any animal that arrives on their doorstep, they have taken in cows, hamsters and even sugar gliders. the funds raised go towards all these animals. (April. 2,2024 Canalside Chronicles photo/Robert Merrill)

While the Telethon has been on WHAM 13 WPXY for nine years, the change in location allowed Lollypop Farm to get even more creative this year.

“What got great responses was the different types of animals that we brought there and showed on TV in the past,” Goehring said “Obviously, dogs have a lot of emotional appeal, but we had baby goats there as well that were only a month old and people loved them. Just the idea of getting some other animals that maybe aren’t traditionally associated with the Lollypop farm but do invoke that emotion and motivate people to either donate or adopt.”

Beyond the excitement of playing with the dogs and goats, Goehring was most affected by the feeling of accomplishment.

“Like once an hour, they would update us on like, Oh, we’re up to $200,000, Goehring said. “Now we’re like, okay, great, but that last hour when we realized how much it actually was, a lot of people ended up donating in the last hour, and so that number was higher than I expected, and it was just a great moment.”

Another story aired during the event hit very close for those who work at the farm.

“So Milo came to us; he was literally skin and bones. He was near death and needed a blood transfusion,” Zeh said. One of our vet techs brought their dog in and did a blood transfusion here [at the sanctuary], which we’re not really equipped to do. We had to have people walk us through it, but we made it happen. We had Dr. James and her dog come out on set, and we awarded Dr. James and [her dog] Clara a medal for being the Hazelton hero for the year. So that was a really big moment.”

That $488,825 is used for many things, such as buying food, bedding, and medicine for animals under the organization’s care, such as cats, turtles, and even farm pigs.

Money from the Tails for Hope Telethon helps pay for medicine for animals that have gotten disease before arriving, Domino who has Feline Leukemia (FeLV), an STD, requires constant treatment as FeLV has a 80% fatality rate. (April. 2,2024 Canalside Chronicles photo/Robert Merrill)

With this year’s success, the nonprofit is looking forward to next year with the hopes of being able to raise more money.

“I’m sure next year I will have a sheet of paper with $500,000 on it,” Zeh said.

If Lollypop Farm continues to get the support it receives, it will no doubt continue to provide food, love and cuddles to the animals in its care for another 150 years.

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