Update : I wrote this last year, but I think it needs repeating…..
Ok…here goes nothing. I hate to start with this but…..Jerry Lewis got shafted. Why do I start with this? Because the man worked for so long to help kids only to be pushed out by the M.D.A. and Nigel Lythgoe. Every year I watched at least some of it…and Jerry NEVER let me down. When I was seven years old I would see so many talented people do amazing things (Amazing to a 7 year old) Jugglers, Singers, Actors, Comedians and just about anything else that you can imagine. It was a mix of Vaudeville, Carnival and Circus. The Greatest Show On Earth for 21 & 1/2 hours every Labor Day. And it only cost me the price of whatever I could send…which wasn’t much…a 7 year old in my day only got what money he could collecting soda bottles for the deposit. (5 cents each) But you can bet one thing for sure I watched it.
This is from the MDA Labor Day Telethon Wiki page…
“As of 2009, the telethon had raised $2.45 billion since its inception.”
That’s $2,045,000,000.00 that Jerry Lewis raised for little kids who needed help. So what happened?
The 1 constant every year…for as long as my old self can remember was Big Hearted Ed McMahon asking to see the Tote Board…..and boy was he smiling everytime that thing changed. The reason he smiled was because the money that was on the Tote Board were donations from people like me and you and some poor little amazed 7 year old boy. Not from Firefighters with $1,000,000 checks or college kids who held a car wash and raised $10,000. No, those weren’t counted at the end of the day when some bean counter released the total. In 2010 (with Jerry) the M.D.A. raised $58,919,838 and that is “without” the million dollar checks. In the 2011 6 hour telethon M.D.A. raised $61,491,393. Wow that sounds great on the surface, but guess what? THAT INCLUDES THE MILLION DOLLAR CHECKS! Now that’s what I call creative accounting. It doesn’t take a math wiz to see that without Jerry Lewis there are going to be a lot of kids NOT going to camp this year. Thanks M.D.A. for nothing.
And to Jerry Lewis….Thank you sir for everything you’ve done.
Update #2 : Here’s some food for thought. I could not understand why MDA decided to fire Jerry Lewis…..until yesterday when I was talking to my brother about the telethon…and just like that he had the answer. Obamacare. It’s all pretty clear now. Why bother finding a cure?
Update #3 : It’s now 2:00 p.m. September 3rd 2012 and I still have no idea how much money MDA made last night.