South Mississippians give $88k to help Jerry's Kids

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - By Jeff Lawson – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) – For the 16th year, WLOX-TV aired the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon this Labor Day, and the generous people of South Mississippi came through again. You donated $88,794 to Jerry's kids this year.

It takes so much work to put on an event like the telethon, but for those who do it every year, it's a labor of love.

"I see hope. In just about all of their faces, I see hope," volunteer Pat Morris said of the patients the Muscular Dystrophy Associated helps. Morris has given her time to the telethon for 15 years, but Waveland's Louie Smolensky can top that.

"I have been doing this for 31 years," Smolensky said.

Each year, the former Waveland alderman lets his white flowing locks grow. Then he gets his only haircut of the year as part of an MDA fundraiser. Over the years, Smolensky and his hair have raised thousands of dollars.

"It makes me feel good after it is all over with," Smolensky said.

Shelly Robinson was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy at the age of 14. She's about to turn 29. She comes to WLOX year after year, along with her mom, to help out.

"Your only hope is for someone to find a cure, and our best hope for finding a cure is through the research that is done," Margie Robinson said.

The Robinsons are well aware that your donations are what help fund that research.

Myra Marsh was 28 when she was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, so she's both a volunteer and a patient. She believes there is good news on the horizon.

"I may not see the cure, but it is coming," she said. "When I leave here today, I will have a great feeling just knowing there is so much support on the coast for MDA."

Marsh promises she'll keep coming every year to give her time and her love to the telethon. And she won't be the only one. Every volunteer we spoke with said they will be back next year. It is their time and, more importantly, their love that makes it all possible.

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