(Alexandria, MN) After five hours of entertainment, the final tally on Saturday was $85,258.71.  That money is used to fund the program that distributed more than 850 food and toy baskets on Sunday.  More than 100 volunteers, including the Jingle Bells Foundation packaged, distributed and delivered those baskets to families throughout a 40 mile radius of Alexandria. The distribution took place Sunday morning from the H. Boyd Nelson building.

The 71st annual telethon is one of the longest running charitable causes in the Alexandria area.  The program which was held at the Lake Geneva Christian Center (LGCC) featured more than 35 acts.  It was hosted by Joe Korkowski and Tim Urness.  They were joined by Chelsea Lee, Johnny Thill,  Mike Schreiner and Matt Gilbertson from the Jingle Bells Foundation, Braden Blaisdell, son of Telethon Chairperson Becky Lloyd, and National Honor Society member Brett Strandskov.  New this year, Rachel Kubic from the Echo Press posted Facebook Live updates from "behind the scenes throughout the night.

The telethon was streamed live from the Foundation's website, www.jinglebellsalexandria.org as well as broadcast on multiple stations.  It is also there that you can find out much more about the telethon's efforts, and you are also still able to donate online.   The tentative date for next year's telethon is Saturday, December 12th.