A Real Hero, Year after Year

Gone unnoticed because of Katrina, is the annual MDA 21 1/2 hour Telethon that Jerry Lewis has performed for nearly 40 years. This from the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon website:

" First broadcast over Labor Day weekend in 1966 by a lone TV station in New York City, the unique event starring popular comedian Jerry Lewis quickly caught the public’s attention — and raised more than $1 million in pledges. Now, 39 years later, the show will be broadcast by some 200 MDA “Love Network” stations, assisted by nearly a million volunteers across the country.

In 1998, the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon made history as the first telethon seen around the world via Internet simulcast, hosted by RealNetworks on MDA’s Web site.

An “interactive” show long before the computer age popularized the term, the Telethon’s drama comes from the ever-increasing fund-raising total posted on the tote board — by hand in 1966, now electronically. Jerry’s goal of raising “one dollar more” than the previous year’s amount has been more than met almost every year, thanks to the generosity and compassion of the American public. Last year’s record total was $60.5 million.

AP: Lewis Raises $55.9M for MDA, Storm Victims

"The Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon raised $54.9 million for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and more than $1 million for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Lewis, 79, decided to devote the two-day telethon to both children with muscular dystrophy and Katrina victims after seeing reports from the Gulf Coast.

The Katrina donations will go to the Salvation Army in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Tens of thousands of people are out of their homes, and many of those homes have been destroyed.

"I'm overjoyed we were able to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina and at the same time continue our 40-year tradition of helping my kids," Lewis said.

The telethon's total to fight muscular dystrophy was $4.5 million less than last year, but lower figures were expected due to the outpouring of donations for the hurricane victims. It was only the third time in 40 years that the telethon failed to surpass the previous year's total. "

It's not too late to give, you can donate here

Thank you Mr. Lewis!


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