Story last updated at 3:01 p.m. Thursday, September 12, 2002

Annual fund-raiser successful
I'm sending a huge "thanks" to Homer for its generous support of the Muscular Dystrophy Association on Labor Day weekend. Because of your help, our MDA Telethon raised a record $58,276,118 in contributions and pledges.

It was heartwarming to see people across the country -- from celebrities to unsung heroes -- coming together to help families affected by neuromuscular diseases. As our nation marks the first anniversary of Sept. 11, it's clear that we remain true to our most cherished values.

I want to thank you not only for calling in pledges, but for supporting MDA programs throughout the year, including Shamrocks Against Dystrophy sales, MDA Lock-Ups, and Fill-the-Boot drives by firefighters.

Your support makes it possible for MDA to keep the engines running at full speed on worldwide research seeking treatments and cures. We've made so many significant gains in recent years. Besides research, your donations fund other vital programs, including some 230 clinics, help with medical equipment and -- the favorite of "my kids" -- summer camp.

If you'd like to get involved with these great MDA programs year-round, call your local MDA office; call our national headquarters at (800) 572- 1717; or visit our Web site at

Jerry Lewis, National Chairman, Muscular Dystrophy Association