March 26, 2017

MDA Primetime Telethon achieves $61.5 million

HollywoodNews.com: The new era of primetime Muscular Dystrophy Association Telethons has started. In six primetime hours last night, the organization leading the fight against progressive muscle diseases delivered on its promise of an outstanding 46th annual MDA Labor Day Telethon. MDA today announced that its 2011 Telethon raised $61,491,393 — up from the $58,919,838 achieved during the prior year’s 21.5-hour Telethon. This is the biggest Telethon achievement since 2008, when the global recession began. Contributions can still be made online at mda.org or by calling 800-FIGHTMD (800-344-4863).

“We’re so grateful to everyone who made this amazing outcome possible,” said MDA President & CEO Gerald C. Weinberg. “Kudos must go to our four outstanding Telethon co-hosts, to the entertainment icons performing and making persuasive appeals, to our incredible cause-marketing partners, to more than 150 television stations comprising the ‘Love Network,’ and to generous Americans in every community. Together, we’ve confirmed that primetime is where our Telethon can achieve the most for the families we serve.”

The landmark primetime benefit opened with inspiring remarks about Jerry Lewis by the Telethon’s four co-hosts. Later in the first hour, Celine Dion, also saluted her “dear friend Jerry Lewis,” and then sang “Open Arms.”

The fast-paced show featured Billboard chart toppers including Lady Antebellum, Boyz II Men, Darius Rucker, Richie Sambora, Martina McBride and Jordin Sparks. Their masterful performances and many more, along with special appeals by Ryan Seacrest, Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler, Randy Jackson, Barbara Walters, Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Sherri Shepherd, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, NBA great Dwight Howard, as well as NFL stars Reggie Bush and Kurt Warner helped galvanize America into action for MDA.

R. Rodney Howell, M.D., Chairman of the MDA Board of Directors said, “The tremendous success of the Telethon, even in a tough economy where some communities are also being challenged by natural disasters, shows that America understands and appreciates the truly rapid progress being made by MDA-funded researchers worldwide. More and more clinical trials are underway, testing potential therapeutics, so now truly is the time to invest even more in lifesaving research. Together, we can speed treatments and cures for progressive muscle diseases.”

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About Anastasia Alvarado

Anastasia DiCocco Alvarado is an entertainment news writer.

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