September 4, 2006
Jerry Lewis’ telethon raises record sum
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Jerry Lewis' 41st annual Labor Day
holiday weekend telethon raised a record $61 million for the
Muscular Dystrophy Association, organizers in Las Vegas said on
The contributions and pledges raised during the 21-1/2-hour
event handily beat last year's haul of $55 million. The 2005
telethon was hit by national fund raising for victims of
Hurricane Katrina. Indeed, Lewis earmarked $1 million from the
telethon for the Salvation Army's relief efforts in the South.
This year's nationally televised event took place in the
comic's adopted hometown of Las Vegas after a 12-year run in
Hollywood. Lewis, 80, hosted, despite suffering a heart attack
in June. He has never missed a telethon despite a litany of
ailments over the years, including back pain, addiction to
painkillers and an inflammatory lung disorder.
Celebrities on hand included Canadian pop singer Celine
Dion, newsman Larry King, and actress Kelly Monaco.