Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbia raised over $50,000 through a virtual telethon Saturday despite a citywide internet outage.

The eight-hour telethon, created by Columbia company Armchair Telethon, was streamed live on Youtube and Facebook with over 5,300 views.

The telethon provided a wide range of performing artists and information about the Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbia, according to a news release from Armchair Telethon.

"We had some minor freakouts when my internet went out while I was managing the whole event from my laptop," said Sean Spence, CEO of Armchair Telethon, "and then when performers started texting for help when their internet went out."

The company was able to find an alternative internet access provider and continued the event.

Becuase of the COVID-19 pandemic, the fundraiser had to go online. The result was a big surprise, according to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbia. The organization said it initially hoped to raise about $47,000 but worried it would fall behind. 

With the help of the virtual telethon, Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbia received a lot more community attention and participation, the organization said.

  • General reporter, summer 2020 Studying data journalism Reach me at

  • As senior editor of the Missourian, Fred Anklam manages general assignment reporters. He can be reached at or in the newsroom at 573-882-5720.

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