LAS VEGAS (AP) — Despite the struggling economy, officials with the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon say contributions and pledges from this year’s Labor Day event totaled $58.9 million.

The amount was down from nearly $60.5 million last year and a record $65 million in 2008. But Lewis says he’s heartened by Americans’ ability to help others in need even when they’re struggling financially.

Lewis, national chairman of the Tucson, Ariz.-based Muscular Dystrophy Association, praised the progress the organization is making for people living with muscle diseases.

The 45th annual telethon originated for the fifth consecutive year from the South Point Hotel in Las Vegas and reached some 40 million viewers through 170 television stations.

Dozens of performers joined the 21 1/2-hour event, including Barry Manilow, Michael Feinstein, Carrot Top and Norm Crosby.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (2)
  1. Rosemarie Erickson says:

    Watching the Jerry Lewis Labor Day MDA Telethon became a tradition in our family – we have been in the audience in Vegas, contributed financially, went to the Station and sat at the phones for hours, because we felt the need to do something more than just watching the program.
    Unfortunately I wasn’t able to work your phones this year, so I watched the Show instead.

    After the last firefighter check in the amount of more than $ 27 Million was presented, Mr. Lewis was going to show the board with the final amount, and before he could show the board your station went into COMMERCIAL.
    GOOD JOB. I couldn’t believe my eyes.
    A very disappointed
    Rosemarie Erickson

  2. Jerry Lewis’ telethon made $58.9 million compared to Lindsay Lohan’s $11.5 million for “Machete.” For Lindsay…that’s gotta be a slap in the face..

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