By Judy Wakefield
---- — The pledges have been tallied and $94,000 was raised at last week’s Andover Youth Foundation Together We Rise telethon to benefit construction of the town’s new youth center.
Bill Fahey, director of Andover Youth Services, said town support was strong for the community’s young people, who showcased their talent and planned much of the programming over the course of the two-day fundraiser. It was broadcast live on Andover local access TV from the Collins Center for the Performing Arts at Andover High School.
“The kids did everything at the Collins Center and they did a fantastic job,” Fahey said.
Andover Youth Services program coordinator Kyle Lightner said the telethon offered “an incredible display of what happens when the community of Andover comes out in support of something they care about.”
The money raised doesn’t stop at the $94,000 either, Fahey said. Andover Youth Foundation is still auctioning off an electric car, which was donated for the cause. About $7,000 is expected from its sale.
Plus, the Andover Rotary Club has yet to officially vote on a $20,000 donation it is expected to make. And the contributions continue to come in, with, for example, a $500 check delivered anonymously post-telethon.
“This is about building a second home for everybody — about building community, young and old,” Fahey told the telethon viewers last week.
The long-awaited construction of the 21,000-square-foot Cormier Youth Center, behind Doherty Middle School on Bartlet Street, is expected to begin this spring. Fahey believes the community can now envision it becoming a reality.
“I think now that people can see that the youth center is really happening because our equipment is at the site, they showed support,” Fahey said. “Everyone is excited about this.”