Alexandria’s one and only televised telethon is back for its 71st year.

The Jingle Bells Telethon, a five-hour live TV show that raises money for families in need over the holidays, will be held Saturday, Dec. 7, from 5-10 p.m. at Lake Geneva Christian Center. Money raised goes to purchase food and toys for nearly 900 families each December and throughout the year.

Since the Alexandria Jaycees began the program back in 1949, more than $2.5 million has been raised to provide food and toys for families during the holidays. That first year the Jaycees raised close to $500, and now the program generates about $100,000 each year, according to the program’s website.

While still its own organization, the Alexandria Jaycees are now part of the Jingle Bells Foundation. This event is a community-wide effort.

Previously a telethon on radio that served Douglas County, it is now televised and encompasses communities in a 45-mile radius around the Alexandria Lakes Area. It heavily relies on volunteers, donations from businesses, groups and organizations and hundreds of individuals.