A crowd of volunteers gathers at the 2015 RMHC telethon. (Photo: Contributed)

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Chattanooga has announced their final annual telethon will air on WTVC-NewsChannel 9 on March 5.

For 22 years, the telethon has been a way to “highlight donor contributions . and to encourage viewers to call in and make a donation,” according to a release from RMHC.

The telethon will air from 7 to 11 p.m.

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“The first telethon aired in 1994 after Bob Johnson and MaryEllen Locher showed an interest in doing a telethon for a local charity,” said Jane Kaylor, president and CEO of Chattanooga RMHC. “Twenty-two telethons later, WTVC has helped tell the Chattanooga RMH story to thousands of viewers.”

The idea is to promote donations at $66 increments to help pay for one night of a family’s stay.

Victoria Tropiano, communications coordinator for RMHC of Greater Chattanooga, said the organization has decided to focus on different marketing methods moving forward.

“The reason we’ve decided to take a different route and end the telethon is because our target demographics are millennial moms, Gen X moms and the philanthropic women,” Tropiano said. “We’ve found that they aren’t typically the viewers who watch a telethon on a Saturday night.”

Tropiano said the partnership with WTVC will remain strong and the organization will use money they would’ve spent on the telethon to continue marketing with the station and other media outlets.

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