FARMINGTON — A new exhibit on health education planned for the 2014 Wilton Blueberry Festival requires some extra fundraising.

WKTJ will host a live radio-thon from noon to 5 p.m. Friday, March 21, organizer Shannon Smith of Wilton said. She will be joined by state Sen. Tom Saviello, R-Wilton, and Rick Davis from the local station to take pledges and talk with participants.

In addition, Girl’s Talk at Academy Hill School in Wilton will hold a yard and bake sale on Saturday, March 22, at the school with proceeds helping to bring the medical inflatable exhibit here in August.

Smith is looking for ways to raise an extra $30,000 to bring four inflatable educational units to Maine from Houston, Texas, for the 32nd annual festival, which is held the first weekend in August

The body, heart, lung and brain will be set up in Kineowatha Park over the two-day festival. People walk through the large inflatables marked with informational signs about the body or organ.

The inflatable body is 50 feet long and 17 feet high, she said, and it helps “teach people about the risks, symptoms, nature and causes of various diseases, ” according to the MEGA collection website.


Although she was able to get a deal on the exhibit, the cost nearly doubles her normal $40,000 budget for the Blueberry Festival.

“It’s a $70,000 weekend,” she said of this year’s event. “I’m at $52,000 with $18,000 more to raise.”

She has applied for grants. Some medical facilities have donated, including Central Maine Cardiologists of Lewiston, which gave $1,000 and plans to have representatives from the practice near the heart during the festival, Smith said.

NorthStar Ambulance will offer CPR training and cards for a reduced rate. Other local medical businesses are becoming involved in the festival.

During Friday’s radio-thon, people can stop by WKTJ on Broadway to say hello and make a donation or call and make a pledge, Smith said. Donations can also be left at the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce Office in Farmington, the Wilton Town Office or KeyBank in Wilton.

Donations for the Girls Talk yard and food sale can be left at the school. Call Katie at 645-4488 for more information.

For more information about the fundraising or the Blueberry Festival, call Smith at 778-4726 or visit

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