Lewis Telethon Raises Record 65 Million Dollars for MDA

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Las Vegas (AP) Jerry Lewis has raised a record 65 million dollars for the Muscular Dystrophy Association in his annual Labor Day telethon.

The benefit also made a pitch for those affected by Hurricane Gustav.

This year's 22-hour telethon added a special plea for MDA-registered families forced to leave their homes because of the hurricane, which made landfall today in Louisiana.

Lewis also urged viewers to contribute to the Salvation Army's emergency disaster services.

The 2008 haul for the 43rd annual fundraising blitz was $1.2 million more than last year's total.

The 82-year-old Lewis co-hosted the telethon from the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Longtime participant Ed McMahon shared hosting duties with such celebrities as Tony Orlando and “Access Hollywood” host Nancy O'Dell. Performers included Celine Dion, 3 Doors Down, Kid Rock and Reba McEntire.

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