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Alexandria Area High School is set to host the 73rd Jingle Bells Telethon

The live event hopes to raise its goal of $90,000 to be donated in various ways.

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Last year, Lydia Mason, 8, of Osakis, was a first-time performer at the Jingle Bells Telethon. Mason, the daughter of Kevin and JoAnna Mason, sang "O Holy Night." (Celeste Edenloff / Echo Press)

The 73rd annual Jingle Bells Telethon will take place live at the Alexandria Area High School's Performing Arts Center on Saturday, Dec. 11., from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Unlike last year, the 2021 Jingle Bells Telethon will open to a live audience. The event will also be televised and streamed at the foundation's website, www.jinglebellsalexandria.org.

The following stations will be airing the program:

  • Charter Spectrum Cable Channel 181 (correction)
  • Selective TV Channel 21.4
  • Gardonville Channel 4
  • Park Region Channel 1
  • Runestone Telecom Channel 6
  • Arvig Channel 14

Viewers can expect to see over 30 live performances from piano playing, family bands, concertina, a barbershop quartet and more, along with skits and videos by the hosts. The show can provide a full set of talent due to the option to submit auditions via video.
"I think COVID has made things challenging as far as people coming out to audition. But it is great that we can have people send in auditions through video," said the foundation's public relations representative Mike Schreiner.

The event will be following protocol put in place by the high school to combat the spread of COVID-19 from the audience. According to Schreiner, hand sanitizer will be available with masks recommended, and equipment will be cleaned and sanitized between use.

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At a past Jingle Bells telethon, Shelly Bergner Nelson performed on the set of the telethon at the Geneva Christian Center. (Echo Press file photo)

Schreiner said the goal is to reach $90,000 in donations once again and to distribute 750 food and toy baskets. Donations will fund the food and toy baskets, scholarships for high school seniors, area food shelves, the Reach program, and a hardship fund for people who are experiencing current hardships in their lives.

Donations can be made year-round by clicking on the donations tab and following the instructions at www.jinglebellsalexandria.org. To donate during the show, call 320-460-8777.

While the show is stacked for performances, volunteers are still needed. Those interested in volunteering can find information on the foundation's website under the volunteer tab. Schreiner encourages those interested in volunteering to come out to H. Boyd Nelson on Sunday, Dec. 12, at 9 a.m. to package up and deliver the food and toy baskets.

"Many hands make light work," he remarked.

This event was made possible by the Alexandria Jingle Bells Foundation and individuals and businesses from Alexandria and the surrounding areas.

For more information on the event, visit the website or call 320-335-2488.

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Last year, painted piggy banks sat out at Tammy Justin’s shop, Simply Ceramics. These were donated to Jingle Bells toy baskets as a volunteer project with the Alexandria Jaycees. (Contributed photo)

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Last year, painted piggy banks sat out at Tammy Justin’s shop, Simply Ceramics. These were donated to Jingle Bells toy baskets as a volunteer project with the Alexandria Jaycees. (Contributed photo)

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