Monday, September 7, 2009
Larry Hatteberg and Jemelle Holoperik co-hosted the 44th Jerry Lewis Telethon locally in a marathon production from KAKE television in west Wichita which raised $488,386.
Despite the tough economy, officials with the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon say contributions and pledges from this year's Labor Day event totaled nearly $60.5 million nationally.
Wichitans volunteered to join the non-stop fundraiser taking calls in the studio and calling in to contribute to the cause. The official final tally raised locally will be used to provide help and research locally.
Officials say the funds will allow the Muscular Dystrophy Association to continue funding worldwide research to find treatments and cures for muscular dystrophy and related diseases.
Lewis, the Tucson-based MDA's national chairman, thanked the American people for the generosity Monday.
He says that even though the total was down from last year's record $65 million, it was an amazing accomplishment considering the state of the nation's economy.
The 44th annual telethon was broadcast nationally for the fourth consecutive year from the South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa in Las Vegas.