Originally created 09/01/02

Labor Day telethon draws in millions



From its humble beginnings at a lone New York City TV station in 1966, the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Association Labor Day Telethon has expanded to more than 200 stations that draw millions of viewers - and millions of dollars.

The annual fund-raiser that raised more than $56 million in 2001 hopes to break records again this year.

"Locally, we raised over $160,000" last year, said Paulette Dunn, MDA district field representative.

The telethon will air from 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday on WJBF-TV, Channel 6.

Ms. Dunn said segments broadcast live from the Sheraton Hotel in Augusta will feature check presentations from area businesses, and firefighters.

According to Nielsen ratings, the 2001 telethon was watched by more than 60 million viewers in the United States, and millions more worldwide kept track of the event via the Internet.

Money raised by the event, which is celebrating its 37th year, goes to help fund research and treatment of more than 40 neuromuscular diseases.

TUNE IN

The 37th annual Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon will air from 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday on WJBF-TV, Channel 6.