GBS students to shine round the clock on telethon
Updated: November 28, 2011 10:00AM
Next Friday, Glenbrook South High School students will be allowed to ignore their curfews and party through the night — all for a good cause.
For 24 hours, students will perform, entertain and encourage TV viewers to support a local social services organization during the school’s “Titan Telethon.”
Starting at noon on Nov. 4, and through noon the next day, the telethon program will broadcast live from Glenbrook South on Comcast channel 26.
In addition to raising money for Youth Services of Glenview/Northbrook, the telethon will commemorate Glenbrook South’s 50th anniversary by featuring photo montages from the school’s five-decade history.
Jim Shellard, assistant principal of student activities and the program’s designated MC, said while the telethon may be a “massive undertaking of gargantuan size, it will provide a very large cross-section of entertainment and information in order to support the work of Youth Services.”
Located in Glenview, Youth Services is a non-profit social service agency devoted to the mental health, character development and physical well being of children and families.
Glenbrook South’s first telethon in 2008 raised over $100,000 to help Youth Services purchase a new facility.
This year’s goal is to raise $50,000 to support the non-profit’s health, wellness, and character-building programs, which benefit more than 3,500 local families each year. Teens will staff the phone lines to take callers’ donations pledges.
“It is fitting, exciting and humbling to see how hard Glenbrook South students are willing to work to raise funds to ensure this agency will always be here to serve those who need us most,” said Youth Services Executive Director Nancy Bloom. “Kids helping kids gives me great faith in the future of our community and our country.”
Shellard said 800 students will participate in the telethon sometime during its 24-hour showing, which will highlight just about every aspect of student life at Glenbrook South.
Students will record a lip dub music video Friday morning to kick-off the program’s broadcast.
The school’s marching band and choral groups will perform musical numbers. Other students will show off their juggling and unicycling skills.
Art students will create ceramics and work around the clock on a special “24-hour mural.”
Japanese Club members will instruct viewers on how to make origami, and science students will give conduct live physics demonstrations. There will even be an “Iron Chef” cook-off.
An after-midnight performance by a heavy metal band will keep the tired on their toes.
“It’s a three-ring circus here,” Shellard said. “There’s lots of energy.”
Throughout the program Shellard will interview special gusts from the school studio room, including administration officials and notable alumni. Fall Out Boy lead singer Patrick Stump, “Being Human” star Sam Witwer, and actress/singer Emily Bergl have been invited to make appearances via Skype.
“It’s like having a child for the second time,” Shellard said of planning the telethon. “You forget how much work it is.”
“But the payoff is huge for the kids,” he said.
A 17-member student crew will coordinate all camera work, video graphics, lighting and sound.
“This is a daunting undertaking,” said Mark Ferguson, the school’s director of television production. “My student television production crew will be on for 24 hours. They know they will be tired and stretched to the limit, but they are eager and committed to the cause.”
Senior Connor Smith will help manage the technical components of the show. As a freshman he helped out with the school’s first telethon. This time he’s taking on a leading role.
Not too many students at other schools are given the chance to produce a live television program, said Smith, who plans to major in film and television next year at college.
“Everything at Glenbrook South is taken to a whole new level,” he said.
The “Titan Telethon” will be broadcast live Nov. 4 and 5 on Comcast channel 26. To make a pledged donation, call (847) 724-2620. Donations can also be dropped off in-person at Glenbrook South High School during the telethon.