Monday, September 05, 2005

Local Telethon Effort Pulls in a Bundle for Jerry's Kids

Despite high gas prices and the outpouring of support for victims of Hurricane Katrina, the 40th installment of the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon brought in nearly $55 million, a figure that Lewis said was higher than he was expecting. The program was carried locally on KMTV for the 35th consecutive year.

Looking better than he has in nearly five years, a noticeably thinner, more vigorous Lewis hosted roughly eight hours of this year's Muscular Dystrophy Association fundraiser. Lewis shocked many viewers in 2001, when he appeared on the program bloated and barely able to breathe (later revealed to be related to steroid treatments he was undergoing for pulmonary fibrosis). While his breathing appeared to improve in subsequent years, the comedian's weight ballooned from his normal 170 pounds to 250 or more, and he frequently appeared frail and confused.

Not so this year. Reporting that he is down more than 70 pounds from his peak weight, Lewis was more his usual wacky, outspoken self, rattling off facts and figures and razzing celebrities and corporate presenters who came to L.A.'s Beverly Hilton Hotel to be part of the show.

Locally, the telethon raised just over $384,000 in pledges and donations. Anchor Greg Peterson and morning anchor Mary Williams (who's starting to look like Vicki Lawrence) hosted the Omaha cut-ins, with meteorologists Ryan McPike and Charles Thongklin staffing the fishbowl at a west Omaha grocery store during the morning and Sarah Walters taking the afternoon shift.


King Vernon said...

Are you talking about Vicky from the CAROL Brunett Show?

gerrishnut said...

Sarah Walters is hot. KMTV needs to give her some more air time.

Ted Brockman said...

Agreed. But not because she's hot. Because she's a more engaging personality.

Damon Scott Hynes said...

When Sarah was in that Hy-Vee showing off her wristbands, shoving them into the camera...I thought of "Dr. Tongue's 3-D House Og Horror" on SCTV.
Both Sarah and Elizabeth on 42 seem more relaxed in person--outside of the studio.

Mike said...

How can Sarah be engaging...she is already married! lol

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