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May 04, 2015

Muscular Dystrophy Association Drops Storied Telethon

The Muscular Dystrophy Association is ending its tradition of televised fundraising epitomized by the iconic Labor Day telethon long hosted by Jerry Lewis, USA Today and the Associated Press report. The charity announced Friday that "the new realities of television viewing and philanthropic giving" determined the decision and that it will now focus its fundraising and audience-engagement efforts on digital and mobile channels.

Fronted from 1966 to 2010 by Mr. Lewis, who served as the charity's national chairman, the telethon annually featured a parade of stars and over the years raised more than $2 billion to fight degenerative muscular diseases. The comedian and actor abruptly left the association in 2011, and the organization subsequently shrank the program from 21&frac; hours over the Labor Day weekend to a two-hour prime-time special in its final outing last year.