Weather Forecast


Jingle jangle: Jingle Bells donations end up near $110,000

Celeste Beam | Echo Press The Junior Octet, which are all juniors and members of Les Marquise from Jefferson High School, performed Saturday night during the Jingle Bells Telethon.1 / 5
Celeste Beam | Echo Press Bob Ahlgren and his family presented a check from Pete's County Market for $1,000 to Jingle Bells.2 / 5
Celeste Beam | Echo Press School District 206 leaders, including Judy Backhaus and Terry Quist, took their turn at the phone bank during the live telethon.3 / 5
Al Edenloff | Echo Press KSAX camera crews covered the live event that wrapped up at 10 p.m. Saturday night.4 / 5
Contributed photo On Sunday, the food boxes were prepared by Jaycees and numerous volunteers, and were delivered to resident in need.5 / 5

Whether it was $10 or $1,000, the donations rolled in Saturday night during the 61st annual Jaycees Jingle Bells telethon.

Although the total isn't final yet, the donations are close to reaching $110,000 - $3,000 more than last year's $107,000 total, according to Alicia Klimek, co-chair of Jingle Bells and member of the Alexandria Jaycees.

Klimek said overall the event went quite smoothly - from the telethon itself, which took place Saturday night at Lake Geneva Christian Center to the basket filling and delivering on Sunday at H. Boyd Nelson.

She noted that about 1,000 food and toy baskets were delivered on Sunday.

"We are very happy with everything, especially with the way the economy is," said Klimek.

She added that the Jaycees are "so thankful" to the community; to KSAX, which aired the telethon live; to H. Boyd Nelson; and to everyone else who had a hand in making another Jaycees Jingle Bells telethon such a success.

Even though Mother Nature wasn't quite cooperative on Saturday and Sunday - the wind chill dipped well below zero - Klimek said it didn't make a big impact on the telethon or basket delivery the next day. She said a couple of acts that were supposed to perform didn't make it, but that was about it.

She said Minnesotans are resilient and prepared for whatever weather that comes their way.

"People just bundled up!" she said.

There weren't any major glitches during this year's telethon, Klimek noted, adding, "The only one I can think of is that we were actually running ahead of schedule!"

All in all, Klimek said this year's telethon was a hit and that in January the Jaycees will start the process all over again - planning and preparing for next year's telethon.

She also noted that if anybody is interested, the Alexandria Jaycees are always looking for new members - the only criteria is that you have to be between the ages of 18 and 40.

To find out more about the Jaycees, visit the organization's website at or call (320) 834-3030. The Jaycees meet the second Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. at the Minnesota Lakes Maritime Museum.