For decades, the Arctic League’s annual broadcast has been a major fundraiser for the organization. Generations have enjoyed the annual telethon, reaching deep into their pockets to help make sure the children of Chemung County find something under the tree Christmas morning. Despite challenges due to weather, this year was no different.
In 1932 newspaper publisher Frank Tripp devised a radio program for the League and served as the master of ceremonies. This broadcast began on WESG, which was owned by Tripp’s Elmira Star-Gazette, and continued on as the station eventually became WENY. The broadcast originated in the old Mark Twain Hotel (on Gray Street) and provided the listening audience with entertainment by local artists.
In 1973, the broadcast was aired on television for the first time from the WENY-TV studios before moving to the Clemens Center in 1991.
This year’s broadcast faced difficulties as icy roads kept volunteers and donors from making their way downtown to the theater. However the neither fire nor flood ever stopped the Arctic League in the past, and this year the people of Chemung County dug deep into their pockets. The broadcast managed to raise $66,000, smashing last year’s record total of $53,000.
The Arctic League’s “Big Book” is still open and donations being accepted. To donate to the cause, click here.