Many years ago when the Riverside Brookfield Educational Foundation sought a way to raise funds they came upon the idea to hold a telethon with the help of the Riverside Brookfield High School audio visual department and teacher Gary Prokes. Since then RBTV and Prokes’ students have become nationally recognized for their efforts.

This year, Telethon 2011 will be held on Saturday, Nov. 12 from 1 to 9 p.m. and will be broadcast live not only on Comcast Channel 16, but AT&T U-verse in Illinois and northern Indiana. You can also use your iPhone, iPad, iPod and Android devices. For those of you like me who do not have any of the aforementioned, you can go to www.RBTV.tv and catch the action.

The telethon’s purpose is to raise funds for educational purposes for students, staff and faculty at RBHS, most of which goes out in the form of grants. In the decade-plus since the telethon first started, and since 1987, when the RBEF was incorporated, numerous educational advantages have been provided.

Making the telethon happen takes more than 100 people – students, parents, teachers, staff and alumni – who are behind the cameras, in front of the cameras, working at the phone bank or part of the entertainment under the very capable direction of Ellen Fong and Karina Koncius.

You will be able to hear interviews from those who have received grants relate their experiences made possible by the generosity of the foundation. Premiums are available all day, including activity passes, Pagani Hair Salon gift certificates, Cubs and Sox tickets (for all of us who have to wait until next year), graduation packages, USA cable channel gift packages, Aunt Diana’s best chocolate, original art posters (matted and framed), gift certificates, and many other unique items.

New premiums this year include Tribute Walkway pavers which will line the back of the school. The pavers will be available on telethon day at a special one-day-only price, although they will be available after the telethon at the regular price.

Yours truly will be hosting the telethon along with RBHS grad and radio personality Wendy Snyder and Nick Gehl, the Fine Arts Department chairman from 5 to 7 p.m.

To make a pledge and get in on some of the great premiums call 708-442-9990. Our friendly people on the phone bank will be happy to take your call.