Local residents give about $265K to telethon, same sum as last year

Area residents pledged about $265,000 to the annual Jerry Lewis telethon for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, which was the same amount as last year.
The total shown on WYTV-Channel 33 when the broadcast ended Monday was several hundred dollars short of that figure, but some last-minute pledges had not been verified yet.
Nationwide, about $54.9 million was pledged during the 21-hour telethon. Last year's event raised $59.4 million to fund muscular dystrophy research and services.
Special appeals were expected to raise about $1 million for relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. These contributions were funneled to the Salvation Army, along with a $1 million donation from MDA. There was no total for donations from this area for the special appeals.
"I'm overjoyed that we were able to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina and at the same time continue our 40-year tradition of helping 'my kids,'" Lewis said in a press release.
A number of MDA sponsors presented checks representing their 12-month efforts to raise money for MDA. These donations were included in the final total of contributions. Leading this group was the International Association of Fire Fighters, with a record contribution of $21 million.

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