Home Celebrity Exclusive: Without Jerry Lewis, MDA Couldn’t Collect 50% of Last Year’s Pledges

Exclusive: Jerry Lewis vs. the Muscular Dystrophy Association: after 50 plus years, MDA tossed Lewis out last year and replaced him as chairman of the charity and host of his famous Labor Day telethon. The 2011 telethon, shrunk to six hours from 21, was ghastly. When it was over MDA trumpeted that they’d made $61 million– up 4 percent from the prior year when Lewis was at the helm. MDA boasted it did better without Jerry.

http://www.masslive.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2011/09/jerry_lewis_gone_but_mda_telet.html

Alas, it wasn’t true. MDA has just posted its 2011 federal tax form 990 on its website and this tells a much different story. MDA was only able to collect $31 million of that much publicized amount. Without Jerry Lewis to cajole or persuade or inveigle, exactly half the amount came in that was promised by the public. Whether people simply reneged, or never actually pledged that amount at all, remains to be seen.

MDA will argue this happens every year: the tote board total is never what actually comes in. But in 2010, MDA crowed about $58 million at the end of the telethon with Jerry; $48 million came in. In 2009, the first telethon after the recession, the shortfall was about $15 million–$60 million announced, $45 million arrived.

For last year, MDA lists gross receipts from the first non Jerry Lewis telethon at $30,683,816. The charitable contribution portion was 18,059,876 . This left a gross income of $12,623,940.

A 50% shortfall is unprecedented. Because of it, the Form 990 shows a running $30 million loss or more in all categories stated on the MDA return from the beginning of 2011 to the end. Net assets and fund balances seem severely depleted.

And public support dropped overall, not just with the Telethon. In 2010, MDA claimed it received over $174 million in gifts and grants (including the telethon). In 2011, there was a big drop: the number was only $157 million.

Even more disturbing: revenue less expenses left MDA in the red for 2011 at $19 million.

MDA’s now deposed CEO, the man who got rid of Lewis, Gerald C. Weinberg, still pulled down his nearly $400K a year salary in 2011, which he’d been making fo years. The top staff at MDA all make decent six figure salaries as well. Weinberg and most of that staff are no longer working at MDA.

To be fair: MDA divides up the millions that do come in to dozens of worthy hospitals, universities, research programs, and facilities. The halved $61 million is still a sizeable chunk for these donation-starved groups. However: without the bad publicity and the controversy around Jerry Lewis, MDA might have been able to collect a higher percentage of pledges which would have benefited these groups even more.

Something happened at MDA in 2011  that’s never quite been explained. They committed a kind of hari-kari, taking an established brand and flushing it down the toilet. On Sunday night, the so-called remnants of the annual telethon are down to three hours. Almost everything is pre-taped except for local cut ins. The acts have no relationship to the history of the MDA.

Because it’s taped, there will be no drama to see if they can top last year. Of course, last year doesn’t really exist since the actually collected $31 million is far below the amounts from preceding years.

I doubt Jerry Lewis is amused or feeling vindicated. He worked like a dog for five decades for his “kids” and established an image for this charity among so many dozens of others soliticing funds for terrible diseases.

An email to the pr director of MDA has gone unanswered so far. If she writes back. I will gladly add the responses to our questions.

All the numbers for this article came directly from www.mda.org/aboutus

also http://mda.org/sites/default/files/TaxForm990_2011.pdf

http://www.thenonprofittimes.com/article/detail/mda-telethon-to-be-mostly-on-tape-4837

150 replies to this post
  1. Sunday evening while I was scanning the TV channels I passed by the MDA telethon. Nothing was recognizable of the telethon that I had watched since it was first televised. One of the true challenges we are facing as a nation is our loss of icons ~ people like Jerry Lewis who represent the best of American character and commitment to help others without compromise.

    As someone also who faces a life-threatening illness ~ GIST (CANCER) every day, I know that without the resources and knowledge necessary to shift the paradigm thousands of patients and their families will continue to be at risk.

    You may not have liked Jerry Lewis’ humor or style, but I BELIEVED and ACCEPTED his optimism since I was a little girl. When I first heard that he was marginalized and “kicked to the curb”, I recognized that another disease is threatening America ~ the egoism of MDA’s leadership.

    To MDA’s alleged leaders ~ the biggest mistakes are the ones we do not admit to. Bring Jerry back to lead us once again in the battle of a lifetime ~ Muscular Dystrophy.

  2. Someone posted Jerry was over paid stand corrected Jerry donated his time for his kids whom ment the world to him….
    Also someone posted Jerry himselve is in ill health yes i will agree to that and to my understanding i was also told that Jerry too has or had a form of md ad well and is why he has been in ill health yes someone also posted they wasnt fond of Jerry’s sinse of humor….yes sometimes his punch lines werent perfect… But he was jerry and he didnt care what people thought of him he did what he felt he had to for his kids. Jerry if you read this we love you and miss you. And would like to thank you for everything you have done in the past….
    And yes someone posted the kids still need help for those with the disease and yes that is true. However those getting the 6 figur finances and ran l

  3. Who is hosting now! Ryan Seacrest? He seems to host everything these days. First Dick Clark….
    Disgusting.
    It’s a shame that so many people will no longer donate to MDA, understandable, but still a shame.
    The only ones who will suffer will be JERRY’S Kids.

  4. This situation also indicates a problem that plagues many national charities. Many large charities have high paid executives who siphon off a large chunk of charitable contributions as salaries and expenses. I would urge people – PLEASE, don’t use this as an excuse for not giving. However, instead of donating to large organizations, look for smaller charities in your local community, and donate to them. Check out all charities before you donate, but you can probably find out more about local charities and the people who run them. I think you will find that a higher percentage of donated money goes to the needy in the smaller charities.

  5. Without any enmity toward MDA or its execs, there was a good reason NOT to fire Jerry Lewis. We recognized Jerry, we knew who he was, and we connected him to his “kids”. Now MDA is a faceless voice in a crowd of worthy charities vying for our money. Maybe some other celebrity will arise to take up the torch for MDA and give it a new brand identity.

  6. Where’s the freaking cure for ANY of these afflictions for which they collect millions upon millions of dollars???

    Gravy train? You almost wonder if they’d actually have found a cure by now for some of these diseases, if the continued existence of a given disease didn’t promise the continued infusion of tons of donated cash.

  7. Wow you guys. Find out the real reason Lewis was fired, and sent on a cruise during telethon. He brought the MDA a cure.And they fired him. Check it out for yourselves.Dr.Joel Wallach…..Dead Doctor’s Don’t Lie. EXTREMELY reputable man.Only one to take on FDA and win. A CURE.

  8. […] No. MDA has  posted its 2011 federal tax form 990 on its website and reveals that it was able to collect just $31 million of the $61 million pledged, the lowest total in years and the lowest percentage of pledges fulfilled in memory. Nobody knows why, but I think a strong argument can be made that without a familiar face on the telethon, it was easier to duck responsibility when the bill came due. Besides, the Association kicked Jerry Lewis to the curb after he had given his life to his “kids.” Who were they to insist that people meet their obligations to them? As Showbiz 411 commented on MDA’s conduct, […]

  9. The total pledges made never match the amount of money people actually end up sending to MDA. That’s nothing new. All these articles circling the web about Jerry not being there is only hurting the cause he started. If you ask him the telethon was never about him, it’s about people like me who have muscular dystrophy. Jerry, God love him, is really too old and in too poor in health to continue doing it. The torch was going to have to be passed eventually. Sure it could have been handled better but the people who MDA is trying to help (and they do help, I would know) have no lesser need than they did with Jerry. If you don’t want to donate to MDA, at least help support the cause by donating to other organizations like CureDuchenne, Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy or the ALS Association.

  10. Jerry did not build the MDA telethon. He had government supported TV signals, government mandated work rules, and government required taxes.

    He is merely an overpaid comrade who has finally learned his lesson

    Now post-sarcasm, Jerry was incredible and worked his rear end off for years to make this telethon what is was with the operative word being in the past tense.

  11. Seems to me the only ones making out is the top people with six figure salerys…so what goes to the kids?? 10%…Sounds like a bunch of B.S. Too me. What a scam. Do your home work check these so called charity’s out..see how much goes to the one who need it.

  12. Why have a comment section if the comments are visible to anyone?

    If it does become visible then all I wanted to say was WE LOVE JERRY LEWIS!!!!!!

  13. Is there such a word as deplenish? I’ve heard of DEPLETED and REPLENISH but did you just make a word up? I got the gist of what you were getting at and the word makes sense but I wish I could make up a word like hat.

  14. MDA has done the unthinkable in just 24 short months. Taken an institution that America has known for 5 decades and flushed it down the toilet. The telethon should have been kept and hosting duties simply turned over to a host that Jerry Lewis saw fit. It was HIS show all of those years. He ran it and everyone tuned into it to watch the show HE put together. MDA better rethink its future before it has zero television and becomes an internet only show.

    The arrogance and malignant narcissism of the new guard at MDA is showing to be that of Facebook shareholders 8 weeks ago.

    FAIL. EPIC. FAIL.

  15. I am one of many who was left thoroughly confused and angry about the unceremonious dumping of Jerry Lewis. The last year he was on the Telethon was and continues to be the last year I donated to MDA. I can’t imagine the heartbreak that Mr. Lewis must have gone through, and I will never forgive MDA for doing that to him.

  16. You’ve got that right – they committed corporate suicide, tossing away one of the most recognizable brands … and for what? I wish you’d explained why they did it (they had to have a reason – obviously, not a good one, but what was it?).

    I’ve never enjoyed Jerry Lewis’ brand of humor, and while I’ve seen parts of telethons over the years, I was never a big fan. Still, I gave at the 7/11 almost every time I stopped by, and that, too has stopped. I have other charities I support now.

    Really, really stupid move. Thanks for sharing how it proved a fiscal disaster, as well as a branding disaster.

    Ned Barnett
    Las Vegas

  17. Getting rid of J. Lewis is pretty much the thought of todays big business thought. Get rid of all the old people and hire new young ones. You don’t have to pay them as much. Well How is that doing for you now MDA.

  18. When somebody Ricj=h gets their “Jammies in a Bunch over a performer “cakked Belovd” is given the “Skids”
    The Coffers never come back into being level.

  19. Having been a supporter and TV watcher from the beginning of the Jerry Lewis Telethons, I was flabbergasted to see the disrespect shown to Jerry after his lifelong dedication to the cause of MDA diseases. Consequently, my reply to their requests for money was that I no longer would support the charity (I”m not a big bucks supporter) due to their treatment of Jerry, who has never spoken up and given his side. There are many, many worthwhile charities to support. My main thrust now is toward our returning wounded servicemen and their families.

  20. What kind of a disconnected moron(s) made the business decision to unceremoniously dump the single person who, for over 50 years, built the brand. Great decision jackass(es). Many, many people are angry about what was done to Jerry Lewis and will not come back to this charity.

  21. Jerry believes in the cause with all his heart and soul and those giving to the charity knew this because Jerry is genuine and sincere. Jerry was the difference with the telethon, in my opinion.

  22. Too bad the shortsighted bureaucrats took over the organization, where Lewis had been the face of the organization. Without him, and especially due to the disgraceful way he was dumped, they became just another group with their hand out. A once great force for change reduced to mediocre status and to the dust bin of history.

  23. First let me say, “good story.” The MDA was too hasty to kick Jerry Lewis to the curb. They are regretting that now, I am sure. I am a teacher in Tampa. But in previous careers, I was a news reporter and, most of my life, was a public relations practitioner. I wrote every day for a living. I want to point out that there is no such word as “deplenished”. It was used in the story – end of the fifth paragraph. Replenished is a word. “Depleted” is the word the author may have wanted. One of the things about the Internet that saddens me is that the use of editors seems to have all but disappeared.

  24. Dr Joel Wallach found a simple cure for MD through diet. He sent the test results to Jerry Lewis, so he could be the one to break the wonderful news, since he has dedicated his life to the cause. When Lewis presented the information to the MDA board, they fired Lewis and everyone with allegiance to him. The MDA can’t exist if the cure is known.

  25. I never understood why they canned Jerry. He was their hardest working and most valuable asset as far as I could tell. I didn’t even watch last year after he left and I don’t plan to watch this year either. You just shouldn’t tamper with tradition sometimes.

  26. MDA’s now deposed CEO, the man who got rid of Lewis, Gerald C. Weinberg, still pulled down his nearly $400K a year salary in 2011, which he’d been making fo years. The top staff at MDA all make decent six figure salaries as well. Weinberg and most of that staff are no longer working at MDA.
    NO ONE should be pulling in six figure salaries at MDA! What a disgrace! How many years has this been going on? No wonder they haven’t found a cure yet.

  27. Looks like another institution got too big for its britches, dumped the people (person) who got it there (Jerry) and in the process cut itself down to size.

  28. I cannot thank you enough for your reporting on this subject. It was balanced and factual–two things severely absent in today’s “news” media. What took place in 2011 with the MDA was a historic mismanagement of a ‘brand’, event and public relations in American history….on par with the “New Coke” debacle.

    There is so much more to this story and the media has essentially chosen to ignore, for the most part, most everything you’ve reported here. MDA did not only badly handle its relationship with its global brand ambassador Mr. Lewis (both sides were wrong, stubborn and had the inevitable severe clash of ideas and styles that resulted in this mess) but the MDA also insulted loyal donors and volunteers across America who did everything from donate every year to provide food, drinks, facilities, office supplies etc. to call centers that were manned by volunteers who showed up every year to take pledges. I am included in that group. I personally saw call centers that had been staffed by volunteers (with the guidance of ‘official’ MDA staffers) not even receive a personal letter or email informing them calls were going to be outsourced to professional call centers in the midwest. No information and most importantly no ‘thank you’ and respect.

    There is a very large family of Jerry Lewis Telethon volunteers who keep in touch via the web and message boards, Facebook etc. who immediately realized MDA had not only lied on-air about Mr. Lewis ‘retiring’ from the cause but also inflated the pledge numbers. I had worked call centers for more than 20 years and was very involved in the telethon for 30 and could tell you every year if the show was ahead or behind at any hour of the 22 hour broadcast.

    It took thousands of volunteers across the nation manning phones, Mr. Lewis and nearly 24 hours to raise what MDA claimed was more money raised in six hours with far less volunteers, no Mr. Lewis and fewer stations.
    It was a lie from the start.

    Many of us in the ‘family’ have struggled with the choice of pushing media to report this or not because ultimately the people fighting these vicious diseases–from newborns to seniors–desperately need our support and blasting MDA could hurt their lives even deeper. But, new orgs fighting MD are popping up and maybe it’s time to lift the cover over MDA and their new leadership and practices so in the long run, people with MD can be better served.

  29. Jerry Lewis made Muscular Dystrophya household name. He informed the public about its ravages and inspred us to believe we could find a cure. I’ve come to think of all kids with MD as Jerry’s kids.

    I’ll never watch another telethon again. I may contribute in the future when my anger cools. But not a penny this year for having dropped Jerry from the show.

    He earned his role as emcee. He’s put his heart and soul into it. And such shortsighteness and mismanagement just leaves me feeling sorry for the kids that MDA’s leadership has let down so badly. What on earth were you thinking of?

  30. JUST PATHETIC Jerry is the MDA cut him out of the picture and the MDA is history and appears it is well on the path of just being a poster child for how to destroy a charity. The only losers are the people who depended on the donations to improve the health of sick people. WAY TO GO MDA.! I guess all those 6 figure salaries will be missed the 1% will be joining the 99% now. Welcome to the real world.

  31. I think it’s kind of sad that people can’t be bothered to follow through unless some celebrity is coddling them. I mean, maybe some of this is the bad economy, but the numbers this story cites seem to account for that (things were pretty crappy last year, too). Pity.

  32. I wondered why my son’s summer camp was moved from its usual Hilton Hotel venue to a YMCA camp in the boondocks that was ill-prepared to handle kids in wheelchairs. I suspected they were in financial trouble. Now I know.

    It’s sad. I hope their precious little egos feel SO much better over there at MDA. Nice job, guys. I guess we know it wasn’t about the kids. It was about the overpaid suits.

  33. MDA litterally screwed themnselves when they dumped Jerry. Ihave been watching the MDA telethon since its beginning on a single station in NYC. It has always been live, the entertainment was always top notch, and Jerry’s personal appeal to help his kids (adults included) was truely sincere. And now they have nothing. I will not watch it this year at all. Its too bad tht its the kids that will be hurt. Yet these moron executives keep collecting six figure incomes. Shame on them. The end of an erra has come. Thanks for the memories Jerry.

  34. Lewis was great and giving! Frankly, there is no excuse for a charity to have a 400K CEO, and several tody’s in six figures: this is not rocket science!

  35. Weinberg continues to prove how “worthless his management abilities are”. After how Jerry BUILT that organization to see how he was “tossed away”, I’ll never work for or give a dime to support the salary and expenses of that punk, Weinberg.

    There are PLENTY of “other more worthwhile charities” and MDA is off my list.

  36. This proves companies or in this case charities have no class. The man gave how many years of his life, to help find a cure for a terrible disease. Then they just kick him out.

  37. This story is a bit misleading. The headline should read that the 2011 Telethon couldn’t collect 50% of the 2010 Telethon. What is also misleading is that without the extroadinary expenses involved with putting the show on, the MDA likely ended up with more money left over to fund their research, etc. The Telethon is not the only source for donations. Corporate donations are into the mega-millions each year, and those numbers are not posted on the big board. I am certain the MDA actually cut their losses on an annual basis. Regarding Jerry Lewis, I wouldn’t press the MDA for an explanation as to why he was seemingly, abruptly relieved from his duties. Some things are better left alone. Enjoy the fond memories of a very long run.

  38. I always felt Jerry Lewis had an ego the size of Manhattan. However, I don’t know many people that can deny his dedicaion to MDA. I knew when MDA announced the pledges last year, something was amiss. Noe that people know how Lewis was ousted, I think the pledges this year will be pathetic at best!

  39. For years I worked the MDA telethone in Minnesota. Each year many of my friends worked 24 hours without sleeping, we just donated our time, dollars, and energy to raise substantial funds for Jerry’s Kids.

    It really is a shame that those who stepped up to the plate last year were so lame that they could not collect the money which they had gathered in pledges. Yes, the economy is bad, but when a person calls in and gives a pledge doesn’t that mean something?

    To slight the man who established an organization which was meant for good is wrong. Then to revamp the whole production to become just like any other is not good business and really hurts those in need.

    Guess we all change, but usually for the better!!!

  40. The MDA should have know better than to fire Lewis and not expect a drastic drop in contributions. It is true that Lewis is a horrendous person to work with, However the severity of his bad disposition definitely does not come across on the air (at least as it really is). Therefore there have to be many people who feel sorry for Jerry and are disenchanted with MDA for “treating him like that”. MDA should have allowed a closure to the Lewis era that would have appeared to embrace Jerry, and wish him well one last time. It will probably take years (if ever) to recover from this blunder.

  41. When Jerry Lewis was working his tail off to get money for his charity, some of the ungrateful people with MD were picketing him and calling him names. Nice, huh? Then the organization itself tossed Jerry out on his backside, while its CEO was earning 400K per year and the administrative costs were eating up large chunks of the donated monies. Forget MDA. They’ve already collected billions of dollars, much of which has gone to pay the over-priced salaries of that organization’s fat cats.

  42. Hahaha MDA. The story is that Jerry went to them regarding complete nutritional therapies for MDA that could actually cure people, and MDA basically said “We don’t want a cure, we want money”. So let them go to hell, it’s not like they are helping anyone anyway. Just another parasitic non-charity. Love Jerry!!

  43. Jerry was the best.

    He brought in big name stars to entertain for free.

    Jerry touched peoiplse heart and MDA broker Jerry’s heart and the hearts of many others.

    Shame on you MDA.

    You get nothing from me anymore.

  44. Jerry Lewis was the MDA Telethon; what a shame! My mother-in-law died of ALS and always said that she was one of “Jerry’s kids” Now that is no more!

    Shari

  45. MDA executives and staff should be ashamed of their management style and taking an unfair amount of compensation. The “kids” suffer because of their gross mismanagement. They should be held accountable and I’m sure in their afterlife, they will be held accountable.

    They (management) threw Jerry under the bus. Jerry did tremendous work for the “kids.” He will forever be remembered for his tireless efforts.

  46. No one cares about this. The public NEVER knew the truth about the MDA, or even about the diseases it purportedly covers. The MDA Telethon was always an entertainment wonderland, swinging between talent and schmaltz. It was kind of fun–and kind of interesting–while it lasted.

    That’s show biz!

  47. I own and ad agency and work with companies on their brand. When I first read that the MDA gave Jerry Lewis the boot I was stunned. I couldn’t figure out what in the world they were thinking. Jerry Lewis was so tied to MDA’s brand. He brought life to it. He was the heart and soul of it and they cut it out. Crazy, I thought. Turns out that cutting out the heart and soul cost the MDA dearly. Not just in the millions of dollars in donations they lost but also the PR damage it did to them. It’s unfortunate because of the good work they do. They should own up to the mistake and bring Jerry back. I am sure he’d graciously accept. That’s the kind of class act Jerry is.

  48. It is a shame what they did to Jerry. He was MDA and worked hard for his kids. I will not give this year for what they did. I will do something here in my own state. I guess they think that when one gets older they can be tossed like an old shoe.

  49. Jerry Lewis was my 1st crush! When I was a wee girl in the streets of the Bronx, he so inspired me, that I went to my local Police Dep’t and got a permit to close down my block to have my own fund raising carnival for Jerry. All the kids on the block were so excited. I think we raised something like $17. (in those days, that was a ton to a kid!) My biggest thrill came when my Dad & I took the train down to Manhattan and got to throw it in the gigantic bowl of money that Mr. Lewis had in the lobby where he taped the Telethon. What a man!

  50. very sad. Jerry and MDA WERE labor day. the kids, Jerry’s kids, were the focus. i used to volunteer on phones (before they moved the location to a distant region) and there was an excitement in the air. We were working for a common cause. With so much secrecy and the abrupt treatment of its greatest champion, and the ridiculous 3 hour running time, cut down from a 21 1/2 hour show, its no surprise the charity is hurting..we donate now because its a worthy cause, but they certainly did their loyal longtime fans dirt.

  51. Jerry is a hero for his decades of hard work but frankly he became as difficult to watch as Dick Clark on New Years eve. Maybe Jerry should have done more to ease in a replacement. Jerry became bigger than the charity.

  52. I wonder if they are going to reduce staff and other overhead to compensate for the loss of donations? I’m guessing they won’t. The leadership of MDA obviously value the organization over the kids.

  53. After all the years of dedication, getting rid of Jerry Lewis was a disgrace. They should of kept him there forever. Some people give not only for the kid but on his behalf. They owed it to him.

  54. Jerry Lewis WAS the Telethon. We gave every year, We watched every year.
    Without Jerry we don’t watch and not watching we donated only 10% of what we donated for past 14 years. Next year nothing as we have found other causes.
    Maybe some other charity(s) bought off Gerald C. Weinberg to sabotage MDA.
    Goodbye

  55. “MDA’s now deposed CEO, the man who got rid of Lewis, Gerald C. Weinberg, still pulled down his nearly $400K a year salary in 2011, which he’d been making fo years. The top staff at MDA all make decent six figure salaries as well. Weinberg and most of that staff are no longer working at MDA.”

    Thanks for the Info. I know one charity I will no longer be supporting.

    Bring back Jerry! Idiots

  56. What a tragedy! These large non-profits with their smarty pants administrators who bilk large salaries off of others’ generosity and then drive it into the toilet. As the founder of a small non-profit I encourage people to look for smaller local, regional, or national non-profits with highly talented and reasonably compensated administration or volunteer administrators who have a great mission and tangible benefit. There are other great smaller organizations doing great work in the neuromuscular disease World. Don’t always count on the rating systems either. A small charity like my own will never be a 90% donations to programs because a small expense to us is a huge change to the ratio unlike a larger organization. Always check the success of actual programs not just what they say they are going to do! Sorry to see Jerry treated so poorly.

  57. What a shame. When I was a kid, we used to go to 7/11 and get the MDA collection kit, we’d go door to door and collect money. I didn’t give any money last year, can’t throw away Lewis like that.

  58. Sounds like our government today. Liberal deviates are everywhere sucking the life out of anything they get their hands on. They call themselves progressives as they destroy progress, they call themselves caring as they destroy lives and they call themselves successful when they steel other people’s wealth.

  59. Thank you for your article. I have followed Mr. Lewis and the telethon since I was a kid and held backyard carnivals as many others of my age did. I never could have predicted in a million years that a man like Mr. Lewis, who gave his life to this cause would be treated in this manner by this organization and it still bothers me today.. But he has moved on and slowly but surely, so will I.

  60. The explanation for “committing hari-kiri” may be that someone was looting the MDA, big-time, probably for several years now. Before being discovered, you kill the company/charity/whatever in a spectacular and very bitter and public fight with its most recognizable face, and then you let the thing look like it’s withering and dying on the vine, to cover the tracks of the millions you’ve pilfered.

    The whole idea of “pledges vs. amount collected” is one of the greatest money laundering ideas/stealing ideas in the world and my guess is that a lot of laundry was getting done in the last few years. I wonder who does their caging and financial oversight? “Oh, yeah, we had $20 million pledged…and only $10 million of it arrived…on TOP of the table. The other $7.5 million is down there UNDER the table. It never arrived up here…”

  61. do you think there is really anyone who still believes they are really trying to cure any of these horrific diseases, it’s all about telethons, raising funds, they refuse to cure the common cold. this will get worse, it’s an employment decision, when the cure, they will see funds, salk, he managed polio, with little to no real funding, name another since that.

  62. The cure for MD is already known. It did not come from Big Pharma and mainstream medicine. I read the article written by the man who came across the cure. He submitted the data to Jerry Lewis, who in turn sent it to the MDA. Jerry was promptly dumped.

    The information is out there. You just have to hunt for it. The cure for MD and most other diseases will come from alternative medicine. Think what a huge vested interest the MDA is. Would you really expect them to welcome Jerry’s information with open arms? Of course not. Too much money at stake–not to mention all those huge salaries.

    In the end, it’s Jerry’s kids that lost. I am sure Jerry feels terribly betrayed. Jerry is an American hero. He is certainly my hero. I did not drop any bucks in the firemen’s boots this year. (I felt like dropping something else.)

    Anyway, Jerry, don’t let the mofos get you down. Fight back! Say something! Get the word out! You’re the man!

  63. Money doesn’t seem to solve the problem, perhaps the money raised allows victims of MD to be more comfortable in some ways; but, no cure has come from all of these donations. Is the Telethon even worth the time at all?

  64. Dear Jerry Lewis —

    I hope that you will consider forming your own charity for “your kids” — so that we the public can continue to support them without the stigma of the poor management and high salaries of MDA.org

    That is my proposal — and I hope Jerry does it!!

    Aunt Cindy
    Texas

  65. The word out there is that Dr. Wallach discussed with Jerry Lewis a cure for Cystic Fybrosis based on it being a nutritional deficiency, the research from veterinarian medicine now applied to humans. Lewis shared this great ‘find’ with the MS foundation and wanted to share it with the world. They fired him to avoid the financial collapse from this revelation to their organization. Both CF and MS are treatable, preventable and reverse-able via nutritional supplementation by individuals of vitamins and especially key minerals no longer available via diet consumed in America. The research and clinical studies are now out there, but the prevailing paradigm for treatments do not include awareness or recognition of this information, but it is available for those willing to contact me or others.

  66. Disability advocates who work every day on the streets fighting for inclusion, accessibility and protection of rights could see this coming for years. The more MDA was about Jerry Lewis the less it was about fighting the disease or support of those who living with it.
    In the years of the telethon, the most disgusting element was the pity generated in the guise of raising funds. True disability advocates who seek no recognition will tell you Mr. Lewis’ stunts, while perhaps effective in raising money for MDA, did virtually nothing to support the work of making those with disabilities more independent or fight for their civil rights.
    The “Piss on Pity” tee shirts worn by advocates and those with disabilities in the time frame surrounding each Labor Day Weekend were never meant to be a fashion statement. However, it was a statement to the demeaning and bastardizing of people with disabilities.
    If you really want to help people with disabilities, fight with them. Whether it is making sure public accommodations are assessable or fairness in the workplace or helping them achieve independence, do it. Just quit whoring them out.

    Scott Thompson

  67. I’ll tell you what happened. Dr. Joel Wallach found the cause, treatment, and cure for MD. He gave everything to Jerry Lewis so he could announce a cure and the MDA Fired him to protect their jobs which was a priority over Jerry’s kids. Those greedy bastards should all be ashamed of themselves and all should be fired.

  68. What a joke,
    What are they doing with the money? just another charity scam.
    These charities are run by the same scum that run the investment houses on Wall street who sold our future by robbing the treasury.
    Wake up people, all these nationally advertised charities are nothing but $ makers for a chosen few.
    What progress do they actually make?
    Sounds like the govt. doesn’t it?
    How’s that cancer research going?
    Seems like they are creating it instead of curing it.

  69. A possible bigger problem is the sad shape of the economy. Its leaving so many with less to buy necessities, much less give to charities. That said, I’m sure Jerry’s absence is not good…..

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