$242,385. That's the total South Mississippi donated Monday to the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon.
It surely wasn't a typical day at WLOX Monday. More than 100 volunteers were in and out all day and night, taking 27,500 pledges.
Although we didn't meet last year's amount, we did come close, only about 17,000 dollars shy. What's nice is that all of this money raised stays here to help hundreds of families in our area.
It began at 10:30 Sunday night. Each hour we broke in for a local twenty minute segment.
"What's cool about this phone is that it never stops ringing, this phone rings more than all these other phones do, you got prank, you got some people that will prank call you, donating five thousand, ten thousand dollars. But see, it never seems to stop. Hello this is Daniel with MDA telethon, how may I help you?" Volunteer Daniel Trochesset said.
Outside the studios there were four satellite donation centers. Fire fighters at Walmart asked people to fill their boots for the cause.
"I think it's wonderful. It's an opportunity for me. I was asked by Keesler to participate, and I think it's a wonderful program," volunteer Phyllis Soldo said.
"I find it very hard to raise the money. It's very challenging, and it feels good to be able to help the children," volunteer Karen Warden said.
"Oh, it's just a wonderful feeling inside to think that other people want to help out Jerry's kids, and help people with muscular dystrophy, or anyone with muscular disease. These people are so generous. Its overwhelming to have them call and take care of this," volunteer Helene Almond said.
WLOX's studio crew also had a tough job. It was an entire team effort that made our segments look seamless. They deserve as much credit as anybody else, as we saw the pledges continue to ring in.
"It makes you feel good that people would be that receptive to other people's problems, because don't forget that there are lot more people out that don't have problems than people that do have problems," volunteer Dan Corcoran said.
The money raised by the telethon will be used for scooters, communication devices, biopsies, and sending the kids to camp.
The organizers say they'll start working on planning next year's telethon in about a month.
If you would like more information on volunteering next year you can call 601-936-6862, or click here to check out the MDA website.