The annual telethon of the Riverside-Brookfield High School Educational Foundation (RBEF) will take place Saturday, Feb. 23 from 1 to 9 p.m. The RBEF is celebrating its 25th year in existence and has put on a telethon, its main fundraising event, annually since 1989.

Gary Prokes, the head of RBTV, produces the telethon. Prokes came up with the idea to have a telethon in 1989 and has produced and directed every RBEF telethon.

It’s not easy putting on eight hours of live television. Lots of things can wrong in live TV.

“It’s very stressful leading up to it, but once it’s on the air it’s now like the ship leaving the port,” Prokes said.

The telethon will be broadcast on Comcast Channel 16 and AT&T Universe Channel 99/Brookfield. It can also be seen on the RBTV website at

“We’re actually live all day,” Prokes said. “Everything you see is as it’s actually happening.”

The telethon will feature entertainment mostly featuring the high school’s students. Scheduled to perform are the Madrigal singers, the Repertory Dance Company, the sketch comedy group Shenanigans and sophomore all-state violinist Cathryn Cowell to name just some of the performers. Some staff members will also be performing including the school’s choir director, Diane Marelli, who will sing.

Volunteers will answer the phones and take pledges. Premiums, mostly donated by local businesses, will be offered. Aunt Diana’s has contributed two 10 pound bars of chocolate which should attract those with a sweet tooth. Other local businesses donating premiums include Pagani hair salon, Chef Shangri-La and Connell Plumbing, among others.

RBEF President JoAnne Kosey said that she would like to raise $20,000 this year.

The RBEF will use the money that is donated to make grants to RB students and staff.

“All the grants go for educational purposes,” Kosey said. “We try to benefit as many as we can.”

RBEF grants have helped RB students attend specialized summer camps and workshops and help teachers advance their learning and expertise.