BOSTON – (August 28, 2009) The 8th annual WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon attracted people from all 50 states and around the world to support the fight against cancer on Aug. 27 and 28. As of midnight on Aug. 28, more than $4.55 million was raised for adult and pediatric cancer research and care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.
“The Radio-Telethon reminds listeners that cancer touches everyone. Each dollar we raise plays a vital role in cancer research and care,” said Jimmy Fund Chairman and 1967 Red Sox second baseman Mike Andrews. “With WEEI and NESN and all of its listeners and viewers on our team, together we are working towards conquering cancer for good.”
The two-day, 36-hour Radio-Telethon broadcast on WEEI 850-AM Sports Radio and New England Sports Network (NESN) live from Fenway Park featured compelling patient stories, expert information from Dana-Farber researchers and doctors, celebrity guests, and emotional ceremonies.
The Radio-Telethon has earned a reputation for being a signature event in which celebrities are eager to participate. Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig contributed $40,000 on behalf of MLB, and Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs gave $25,000. The Bruins also donated an auction item, which raised an additional $10,000. Comedian Mike O’Malley gave $10,000 and Red Sox manager Terry Francona and pitcher Tim Wakefield each made donations as well.
Other celebrity supporters and callers included Dane Cook, Kelly Clarkson, Denis Leary, Lenny Clarke, David Cassidy, Aaron Neville, Jim Belushi, Donald Trump, Ben Affleck, Donnie Wahlberg, Curt Schilling, and Joe Andruzzi.
As one way to pay tribute to the organization, the Red Sox created emotional pre-game ceremonies, which also helped encourage Red Sox fans to support the annual Radio-Telethon. The Boston Red Sox took on the White Sox on Thursday night, and the pre-game ceremony featured a screening of the new Jimmy Fund movie trailer, Stronger than Ever, which chronicles the journey of Dan Pardi's return to Dana-Farber, this time as a pediatric cancer survivor, and the ongoing bond between the Jimmy Fund patients and the iron workers now working on the Yawkey Center for Cancer Care, Dana-Farber's newest clinical care building. The on-field ceremony recognized the Pardi family, as well as two Yawkey Center ironworkers. Rescue Me’s Denis Leary and Lenny Clarke, threw out the first pitch and David Cassidy sang the national anthem. God Bless America was performed by 17-year old Dana-Farber patient Kelley Bernard, who was treated for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
Friday’s game was against the Toronto Blue Jays and the pre-ceremony celebrity the Dana-Farber All-Starts, a team of pediatric and adults, who were no longer in treatment. They were announced and then took the field. Dane Cook threw out the first pitch and Aaron Neville sang the National Anthem. Kelly Clarkson sang,” God Bless America” during the 7th inning.
“Once again, this incredible event has captured the hearts of the community,” said Jason Wolfe, VP of AM Programming for Entercom New England. “The tremendous generosity of WEEI’s listeners and NESN’s viewers continues to amaze me. I am incredibly proud of what we have accomplished today in the face of a very difficult economy. It says a great deal about how special the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber truly are.”
“The WEEI/NESN Radio-Telethon has become a tradition for our staff and our network. We are committed to help increase funding in hopes of finding a cure for cancer,” said Sean McGrail, NESN President. “No other event on our broadcast calendar is as important, or has as much of an impact on as many people as this event.”
For more information, go to www.jimmyfundradiotelethon.org.
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The Jimmy Fund is celebrating 61 years this year. Back in 1948, members of the Boston Braves visited the hospital bedside of a 12-year-old boy with cancer, dubbed “Jimmy” to protect his identity. The visit was broadcast nationally on radio and people gave generously to help children like him battling the disease. That broadcast along with player appearances and radio appeals during Braves games, helped build a state-of-the-art hospital for cancer research and patient care.
When the Braves moved to Milwaukee in 1953, owner Lou Perini made sure the new Red Sox owner, Thomas Yawkey, would continue the Braves’ work with the Jimmy Fund, as the charity had been named. On April 10, 1953, Yawkey announced that the Red Sox would adopt the Jimmy Fund as its official charity.
Today, the Jimmy Fund continues to be an official charity of the Boston Red Sox, and the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon continues the appeal to the public on radio and television to contribute to cancer care and research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Founded in 1948, the Jimmy Fund has been an official charity of the Boston Red Sox since 1953. It supports the fight against cancer at Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, which is a leading cancer research and care center for adults and children. Unrestricted support from the Jimmy Fund is an integral part of Mission Possible: The Dana-Farber Campaign to Conquer Cancer, a $1 billion capital campaign to accelerate cancer research, speed development of life-saving therapies, and expand the Institute’s signature patient- and family-centered care.
Entercom is one of the nation’s largest radio broadcasters with operations, pro forma for pending acquisitions, in San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, Denver, Sacramento, Cincinnati, Portland, Kansas City, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Austin, Norfolk, Buffalo, New Orleans, Providence, Memphis, Greensboro, Rochester, Greenville/Spartanburg, Madison, Wichita, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Springfield and Gainesville/Ocala.
NESN is owned by the Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins and delivered to over 4 million homes throughout the six-state New England region and nationally via DirecTV and Dish Network. The definitive source for New England sports programming, NESN is the top rated regional sports network in the country delivering award winning Red Sox and Bruins coverage, a popular sports news and highlights program NESN SportsDesk and a unique sports debate and discussion show The Globe 10.0. NESN is also the first regional sports network in the country to originate every game and studio show in high definition.
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