Jerry Lewis Retiring From MDA Telethon

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120069852 Jerry Lewis Retiring From MDA Telethon

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Entertainment legend Jerry Lewis is stepping down as MDA’s national chairman and will not appear during the annual Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon. He has been hosting the Labor Day telethon since 1966.

Jerry Lewis has been serving as chairman for the Muscular Dystrophy Association since the early 1950s. During his involvement, more than $1 billion dollars has been raised during the telethons and a national network was formed with over 200 hospital-affiliated clinics.

R. Rodney Howell, MDA’s Chairman of the Board, called Lewis “a world-class humanitarian and we’re forever grateful to him for his more than half century of generous service to MDA.”

The first telethon started on a single television station in New York City in 1966 and raised over $1 million in pledges. Last year’s telethon broadcast from Las Vegas and raised $59 million for research to find a cure for muscular dystrophy and ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

The telethon has had historic moments. One of which was the reunion of Jerry Lewis with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin in 1976.

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