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New Hanover Co. plans telethon to help water customers

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- New Hanover County will hold a telethon later this month to help wipe the slate clean for hundreds of households without water service due to nonpayment and additional fees. The Help2Others campaign will feature a day long telethon at the New Hanover County Government Center on Saturday, March 24.

"This isn't just an economic issue for those residents who have found themselves in this situation," said County Commissioner and CFPUA Board member Rick Catlin. "It's a public health issue when you consider the numbers of children and elderly who are suffering without running water."

A committee of New Hanover County employees has been dedicated to developing a long-term solution for homes without running water since January. The telethon, to be carried live on the county's cable access television channels, will feature musical acts and other family-oriented entertainment inside and outside the New Hanover County Government Center. The telethon will air from noon until 5 p.m. on Time Warner Cable channel 13 and Charter Cable channel 5.

The county says the telethon will focus on the public health issues surrounding the lack of water to the home.

Money raised through the telethon will go into an escrow account, which can only be tapped by County Commissioners. The funds will be disbursed through local nonprofit agencies to those who meet certain eligibility guidelines.

The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority's latest figures show more than 300 households currently without service water and sewer service. County officials say with the large list of water and sewer infrastructure needs, that figure could continue to increase.

In addition to musical entertainment, visitors to the county government center during the telethon will be treated to children's activities, displays and other goodies donated by local merchants.

To learn more about the problem or to make a tax deductible donation call (910) 798-7311 or visit www.givehelp2others.com.

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