Skip to comments.Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon Achieves $60.5 Million (2009)
Posted on 09/07/2009 6:27:16 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
Despite the effects of an uncertain economy, contributions and pledges to the 44th annual Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon over Labor Day nonetheless totaled $60,481,231 million.
MDA National Chairman and Telethon star Jerry Lewis said he was impressed by the show of support from Telethon viewers even during hard times.
"These are very special people, and their money comes straight from the heart," Lewis said. "Right now, the only thing I can think of to say, other than thank you, thank you is, 'love conquers all.' So many people, everywhere, even with cares of their own, dug deep to show their wonderful compassion for others who need their help."
The funds will allow the Muscular Dystrophy Association to continue funding worldwide research to find treatments and cures for muscular dystrophy and related diseases.
Contributions also provide assistance with purchase of equipment such as wheelchairs and leg braces; send thousands of children to MDA summer camp; and support more than 200 MDA clinics across the country.
Last year's Telethon raised a record $65 million.
Lewis was surprised during the broadcast with the news that he'll be receiving a special Trustees' Emmy award from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in January for his work on behalf of MDA.
The legendary 21 1/2-hour event originated for the fourth year in a row from the South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa Las Vegas. It reached nearly 40 million viewers by way of 180 television stations that comprise MDA's "Love Network." People around the world saw the Telethon at www.mda.org via RealNetworks.
Co-hosts of the show included TV's Jann Carl; Nancy O'Dell, host of "Access Hollywood;" and "Days of Our Lives" star and host of television's "Biggest Loser" Alison Sweeney. Also co-hosting as well as performing were recording artists Ace Young and Billy Gilman.
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
You know you have to wonder. Where are the Brad Pitts and the George Clooneys? Where are the A listers who make small fortunes for six months worth of work? They are ubiquitous when it comes to polar bears and snail darters, but seem invisible when it is real children they can help.
Curious if anyone heard what he had to say about Ed McMahon.
Are you surprized? Talk is cheap and that's all they do.
I didn’t even know people still watched this thing.
Brad Pitt is building gerbil houses and Clooney is making Nazi movies
Ya gotta respect Jerry. He’s been doing this for 44 years.
Pack it in Jerry. You must have taken abput $1 billion, icluding interest, from us already. Some people must be getting awafully rich & still no cure. Am I alone, or are their others growing weary of Jerry & his beloved Telethon?
I can say a prayer for nothin’. I say pack it in, call it a lifetime.
Most modern Liberal do-gooders would like the less than perfect people to die and decrease the surplus population. Raising money to help the sick is the opposite of what they’re about. They support Obama.
I was watching some of Jerry’s old movies on YouTube about a month ago...
he was clever and extremely funny...
Yikes, you are rough tonite. I cant even begin to know where we stand with MD but I think what Jerry Lewis has done is admirable. It doenst seem cool anymore, “The Telethon” but it doesnt mean it isnt important.
This just shows that Americans are a GIVING people. We’re still very generous even during hard economic times.
They did a tribute to him at the beginning of the telethon.
A couple of times, a few years back, I put a tape in the VCR (am I dating myself) and let it run all night. I figured I could see more entertainment that way and skip through a lot of stuff. It was painful.
One year I got taped segments from Branson.
Another, I got the guy from Hollywood Squares and some muppets -- and not even A-list muppets -- hosting, and some really bad acts.
By the way, I’m old enough to remember when he did it in New York City before moving to Vegas.
Thanks to all those who contributed and to Jerry Lewis for doing this for so many years.
what has all this to do with anything....While Americans were raising 60 million dollars to try to cure a disease.....the muslim community was blowing up a girl’s school and destroying a country’s hope for freedom...it figures
Jerry Lewis’ annual MDA drives are a national scam, an embarrassment. A bunch of freeloaders have made millions on this bs, while a ridiculously low percentage of the money raised ever goes to research. There are so many better places to donate money. Not to this swindler.
Is it a scam? I don’t watch it and have my own priorities for my medical research money, but I always thought it was a worthy cause. But just today I was wondering, is any progress being made? Is more money the answer? How many million and millions of dollars has Jerry Lewis raised, and yet I’ve never heard of any medical treatment breakthroughs in 44 years.
I read some stuff about 7 years ago that showed well below 50% of the money raised ever gets to research, it’s all expenses and a bunch of $100K plus salaries for those involved. No surprise there is no cure as of yet.
Thank you! Some truth here, at last! Don’t worry, I got yer back. g
But I ain't gotta watch him.
BINGO, t Minus. Initially, I think it was well-intended. But now I think it’s just one big MONEY GRAB cash cow. I’d be willing to bet much if not all of the money is already spent (borrowed) before it’s even pledged!
Ed McMahon - the best second fiddle EVER! made a career out of it. RIP, Ed. You were good, not great...but good.
Yeah, it’s pretty bad when you look into it. I remember there was a sizeable expose’ written about 7 years ago, and the people from MDA were all angry at it, but they offered no counter to the information presented, the facts were facts. Didn’t make that whole MDA thing look very good, that’s for sure. I’m just tired at how everyone’s knee-jerk reaction is to get all sympathetic towards this telethon just because Jerry puts on his weepy emotional act every year.
I remember being a kid and the telethon was the only thing on TV. It’s a great cause, but I’m glad I live in the digital age.
Did a short tribute. Had a large photo with am American and marine flag. A lot of clips of Ed and Jerry together; some with Ed singing. Ed talking to kids and their families and fundraiser events. Several other guests mentioned Ed.
What percentage goes to research and treatment?
Since you know the truth and got his back, please provide the answer to #30.
Did he go to LA for a couple of years?
If I remember correctly, the corporate sponsors (with public donations) bring in more than the calls and their amount is over 90 mill.
I don’t remember the exact percentage for that year, but I remember being appalled. So much so that I looked into some of the other well-known charities and their percentages and all that. I guess I could probably go look up some recent stuff, but I had seen enough back then to ensure I would never put a dime into MDA.
Without stats you’re just blowing smoke. I’m a big fan, but the numbers can convince me.
Tell you what, I’ll go look up some stuff and try to get back on here tomorrow. But off the top of my head, I seem to remember the percentage that ultimately went to research was in the upper 30’s, below 40%. Expenses were extraordinary. Again, this was a while ago, but it was ridiculous. I remember seeing a Marine Corp fundraising outfit that did all their work and still was able to send well over 90% of the money raised to the cause. Somehow, they didn’t need 60+% for expenses. Amazing.
anything over 75% is good IIRC. I think united way or red cross was doing 60.
Yeah, United Way was ridiculous and some people got busted with that group. And I know that percentages can vary from year to year on this stuff, but it just doesn’t feel right when such large dollars are being taken for expenses.
Is this true that the MDA eats most of this money in
Does’nt alot of the money go towards ambulatory care for those with M.D?
Don’t know. I just know what I’ve read about them in the past, admittedly a lot of years ago. But they don’t get really high ratings among those who rate these charities, for the way they handle the money raised. And seriously, any chance of a cure here, Jerry? I mean, how many decades?!!
From the 2008 Annual Report:
"In 2008 MDA allocated $162.4 million to research, health care services, and professional and patient health education. Of every dollar MDA spent, 78.3 cents was dedicated to program services. Fundraising costs accounted for 14.1 cents, and management costs were 7.6 cents. MDA is accredited by the Better Business Bureau, and has been listed as a Top-Rated Charity by the American Institute of Philanthropy."
Seems ok to me. I have used 75% in the past as the don’t donate point. Read something about that maybe 20 years ago.
As for how long does it takes. Why don't you provide the cure and they can close shop. Then you can move on to cure cancer.
“Why don’t you provide the cure and they can close shop.”
The obvious retort is that MDA is the one who has collected considerable resources from a trusting, good-hearted American populace, for decades, and has accomplished little, besides providing well-paid jobs for those who work for them. All that’s fine, they have the right to do this. But it’s disingenuous for Jerry to be out there crying every year and putting on his act, while the organization runs a less-than commendable operation. And they also are very crafty with their accounting, which has one of the complaints against them for decades. About as ‘transparent’ as Obama’s transparent Administration. My charity money goes elsewhere.
Don’t watch. Don’t donate.
I don’t, and I don’t.
You started here making serious accusations and you were wrong. In some businesses that's considered libel. When you make those statements, which you could not support, they may be read by hundreds or thousands of people who will act on your false accusations. Check your information out first. That's the ethical thing to do.
A few years back, Andy Willams was anchoring the Branson location and that night, Branson was by far the best in terms of delivering entertainment.
Sorry pal, but I was not wrong. There were strong complaints filed against this organization about a decade ago by the very people they purported to help, those with MD and those who care for them. The complaints centered around the revenue to expenses ratio, which was ridiculous at the time, and in the neighborhood of what I quoted you in a prior post. It was a complete joke and people were shocked. The L.A. Times was even compelled to cover the story but dutifully steered the discussion away from the finances and towards a ‘disagreement over how those with MD were being portrayed to the public’, by Jerry Lewis and his organization. That was a minor issue, the finances were the primary problem. With the scrutiny, MDA closed ranks and was forced to clean up its act financially, but they still continued to fight against anyone asking for a clear accounting of what was going on. The joke at the local bar in our area was that people were buying those paper MDA hearts and cutting them in half before putting them up on the wall, to indicate how much of their $1 or $5 was going to Jerry and how much to MDA. People were openly mocking this organization.
So you can continue glorifying this farce and continue sending money to employ people with six figures jobs, I don’t really care. But I won’t, and when people continue to mindlessly support Jerry Lewis just because the media tells them to, I will continue to hammer.
MDA more closely resembles a government bureaucracy than it does a charity. They use other people’s money to fund a bunch of do-nothing jobs, under the guise of some socially responsible program that shows moderate results at best. But a lot of people make money playing with the public’s money.