However, the absent Lewis was on the minds of many, and Nigel Lythgoe, who co-hosted this year's telethon with Jann Carl said he was sad that his predecessor didn't participate, but that the MDA needs to move on to ensure the fundraiser continues.
Lythgoe also told the Associated Press that he'd been expecting Lewis to show up, either during the telecast, or to pre-tape his signature song 'You'll Never Walk Alone.'
"I was fully expecting him to turn up at any point and join that six hours -- and I'm sorry he didn't," Lythgoe said. "And hopefully another year he might. I mean, he knows that he is always welcome on the telethon. It's his baby."
Sixty-one million dollars. That's the amount of money raised during this year's Jerry Lewis Telethon to fight Muscular Dystrophy. The influx of money to the annual telethon, which is held during the Labor Day holiday, was bolstered by a huge donation from a group of firefighters and the lack of a major hurricane so far this season.
This broke the previous record of $60.5 million, which was set back in 2003. The telethon was able to surpass this amount with a $23.5 million dollar contribution from the International Association of Firefighters. Last year only $55 million was raised due to the devastation hurricane Katrina wrought on the Gulf Coast shortly before Labor Day. Bob Mackle, Muscular Dystrophy Association spokesman, expressed great relief that there weren't any storms this season.
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