Jerry Lewis Telethon Banks $59M

Las Vegas was once again the site of people giving away their money this Labor Day—but this time it was for good. Jerry Lewis’ Muscular Dystrophy Association Telethon raised almost $59 million during its 45th-annual Labor Day event at Vegas’ South Point Hotel Casino. It fell short of the amount raised last year by about $1.5 million, but Lewis still expressed his gratitude for people’s willingness to help others in need even as they’re struggling financially. The 21½-hour event saw performances by Barry Manilow, Michael Feinstein, Carrot Top, and Norm Crosby, and was seen by about 40 million viewers. The amount raised by the telethon has increased every year of its 45-year run except for six, including this year and last, when it raised $5 million less than 2008’s total. The money will fund research to find treatments and cures for muscular dystrophy as well as the purchase of equipment, such as wheelchairs for victims of the disease.