MANSFIELD -- At the end of its recent fundraiser telethon, Catalyst Life Services had received more than $116,000 in donations. It was already a record-breaking year, but the pledges continued.
According to Melissa Drozda, marketing and development director for Catalyst Life Services, the final pledge tally stands at $124,845.28.
Every year, different businesses and community groups take turns manning the phones for each hour of the telethon. Volunteers from Mechanics Bank, a gold sponsor of the event, set a record of its own by raising $15,175 during the 7 p.m. hour.
In second place was the team from Labour Hour, which raised $10,654.95. Third place was Avita Health Systems with $8,640. The Mansfield Rotary Club was not far behind with $8,500.
The telethon has been a tradition for 29 years, but Catalyst first began honoring the top fundraiser seven years ago. Mechanics is the first company to lead in funds raised three years in a row.
“It’s a pleasure and honor to receive this on behalf of Mechanics Bank,” said Nick Gesouras, senior vice president at Mechanics and chair of the telethon committee, as he held the top dollar team trophy awarded by Catalyst.
“We do it because it feels natural for us. We’re a community bank,” he added. “It’s always a labor of love and we look forward to being a part of it for the 30th anniversary year.”
Catalyst Life Services is a private non-profit organization offering mental health and crisis services as well as addiction, vocational, audiology and services for the deaf. It recently expanded with two new buildings and the addition of detox and withdrawal management programs in January.
The program provides individuals dealing with substance abuse to detoxify in a safe environment where any withdrawal symptoms can be managed. According to executive director Erin Schaefer, it’s the first of its kind in the area.
“It’s really awesome to have a record-breaking year on a year when we know we’re going to be serving more people,” Drozda said. “It’s a place where people can safely withdraw and then we can connect them to treatment if they are going to stay here locally."