[Photo by John Deputy]
People from across the United States and all over the world showed
their support for the fight against cancer by giving to the 6th Annual
WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon and raising more than $3.74 million
for cancer research and care for adults and children at Boston's
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Contributions came from every state and
from nations as far away as Singapore, Iceland, Ireland and Japan as
Dana-Farber's Jimmy Fund, WEEI 850-AM Sports Radio, New England Sports
Network (NESN) and the Boston Red Sox joined together for a memorable
and record-setting event.
The Radio-Telethon, held over two days for the first time, shattered
last year's fundraising total of $2.9 million. Taking place at Fenway
Park, the 26 hours of programming featured the personal stories of
people affected by cancer as well as those at Dana-Farber whose work is
supported by the Jimmy Fund. Pre-game ceremonies for both games of the
Red Sox doubleheader featured emotional moments.
After raising more than $800,000 during Thursday's eight hours of
programming on WEEI, callers tuned in to both WEEI and NESN beginning at
6 a.m. on Friday. By 2 p.m., the amount on the tally board at Fenway
had climbed to $1.6 million, surpassing the $10 million mark over the
six-year history of the event. Just after 9 p.m., Los Angeles Dodger
owner Frank McCourt gave $50,000 to push the total to $3 million, a
record for the Radio-Telethon. McCourt's gift was in honor of Mike
Andrews, a second-baseman on the 1967 Red Sox "Impossible Dream" team
and current chairman of the Jimmy Fund.
"The response to this year's Radio-Telethon shows how many people are
touched by cancer," said Andrews. "We are so thankful for the
generosity of those who contributed. With that support, as well as the
support of WEEI and NESN, the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber are working
toward the day when we have conquered cancer for good."
"These last two days once again showed the incredible generosity and
compassion that our listening audience has for this very special cause,"
said WEEI Vice President Jason Wolfe. "WEEI, NESN and the Jimmy Fund
have a built a tremendous bond in producing this event and I'm looking
forward to seeing the Radio-Telethon continue to grow."
Members of the 1967 Red Sox team were honored during the second game
of the twin bill between the Red Sox and the Angels for their decision
to award a share of the money they earned by making it to the World
Series to the Jimmy Fund. They were introduced to the crowd along with
six cancer survivors who were treated in the 1960s and early 1970s and
who represent all those helped by that generous gift.
The highlight of the ceremony took place when 7-year-old Jordan
Leandre sang the National Anthem. Jordan first sang at Fenway as a
4-year-old who was in a body cast due to the Ewing's sarcoma in his leg.
His performance led to an appearance in the movie, "Fever Pitch" and
was the first of many return engagements at Fenway. Last year, David
Ortiz wheeled him out in a wheel chair to sing the anthem during the
Radio-Telethon but this year, Jordan not only walked out by himself to
sing the "Star Spangled Banner," he then ran around the bases to the
delight of the crowd. Jordan had also sent a card to Red Sox pitcher Jon
Lester while he was being treated for lymphoma last year. It read, "If I
can do it, you can do it." Now in remission for acute anaplastic large
cell lymphoma, Lester was on the Radio-Telethon broadcast with WEEI's
Glen Ordway. Boston Bruins forward Phil Kessel, who was diagnosed with
testicular cancer last December, called in to WEEI and was featured in a
Other notable parts of the pre-game celebration included Jim Belushi
throwing out the first pitch of the night game. Peter Gammons was
honored with the Red Sox Jimmy Fund Award for his work on behalf of the
Jimmy Fund before the first game while actor Tim Daly threw out the
first pitch along with adult cancer patient and Massachusetts State
Trooper Matt Murray and 17-year-old cancer patient Maggie Carroll.
Cancer survivor and vocalist JoJo David, who lost his voice during his
battle with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, showed he had regained it with a
beautiful rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.
Besides Daly and Belushi, actor and Watertown, Mass. native Eliza
Dushku was also at the game. Donald Trump, who threw out the first pitch
during the 2006 Radio-Telethon, called in and gave $25,000. Peter and
Bobby Farrelly, the directors of "Fever Pitch," continued their support
with a $10,000 gift. The minority owners of the Boston Red Sox matched
the $120,000 that was raised from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Bruins owner
Jeremy Jacobs gave $25,000. Other notable people called in to show their
support, including Ben Affleck, Donnie Wahlberg, Massachusetts Governor
Deval Patrick, former Governor Mitt Romney, Senators John Kerry and
Edward Kennedy, Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, Red Sox
Manager Terry Francona and Celtics owner Steve Pagliuca. In addition,
the Red Sox, Celtics and New England Patriots offered valuable items
that were auctioned off to add to the final amount.
When the Radio-Telethon concluded at midnight, the tally was
$3,604,987 but calls continued to be taken until 3 a.m. and, along with
online contributions, pushed the total to $3,688,179.
Founded in 1948 to raise funds for patient care and the fight against
children's cancer, the Jimmy Fund supports the search for new cancer
treatments and cures for both adults and children at Dana-Farber Cancer
Institute. Ranked as the top cancer hospital in New England, Dana-Farber
is recognized by the National Cancer institute as one of the world's
leaders in cancer care and research. The Jimmy Fund has been an official
charity of the Boston Red Sox since 1953.
Entercom is one of the nation's largest radio broadcasters with
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Boston, Seattle, Denver, Sacramento, Cincinnati, Portland, Kansas City,
Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Austin, Norfolk, Buffalo, New Orleans,
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Madison, Wichita, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Springfield and