Home Celebrity Labor Day Telethon: MDA New President Invokes Jerry Lewis Name in Letter...

Here’s a new twist: the new president of Muscular Dystrophy Association has invoked Jerry Lewis’s name in a letter to followers. Stephen M. Derks has posted a letter to website www.mdausa.org summarizing MDA accomplishments and asking for support. But Derks, newly installed from his position as head of the American Cancer Society in Chicago. invokes the name of MDA’s former spokesperson and standard bearer even though the organization famously fired Lewis three years ago.

First Derks writes: “Where would MDA and the fight against 43 muscle diseases be without the amazing Jerry Lewis? Certainly, we would not be at this hopeful spot. Forever he will be our greatest “muscle maker,” a true hero in the hearts of millions. He and all of our sponsors, and thousands of celebrities as well as millions of generous Americans who said “yes” to him, brought our fight into America’s living rooms.”

Then he adds: “Thanks to Americans saying yes to Jerry Lewis’ requests and the requests of all our sponsors and volunteers, new, lifesaving breakthroughs are not only on the horizon they are being injected into people today.”

This is what’s known as a “sop.” It’s a way of exploiting Lewis’s name without apologizing to him or making any kind of peace with him. Lewis must be bitterly amused. But Derks knows that regular contributors to MDA have declined tremendously since Lewis’s ouster. He almost must be fearing a bigger drop tonight after the 2 hour “Show of Strength” special, no longer a telethon, on ABC.

Look up the word “sop,” kids.

PS Lewis’s name appears nowhere else anymore on the MDA website. He’s been erased from their history.

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41 replies to this post
  1. They don’t have to obtain permission to mention Jerry’s name in concert
    With the work he did for MDA.
    The morons running MDA should step down and someone should take over who understands
    That Jerry is MDA PERIOD! The corrupt 6 figure earning thieves running MDA should be investigated by the Department of Justice and the IRS for fraud! Check the facts for your self, these people running the company don’t care about anything other than their own paychecks.
    MDA is doomed unless we all call for the heads of the current executives.
    There is still time to fix this while Jerry is alive!

  2. What a tragedy. A true icon with integrity those that ousted will never have. I’ve not watched the telethon since he left and have no plans to change my mind. You can’t buy class!!

  3. I had been donating to the MDA Jerry Lewis telethon for 40 years. This organization behaved badly towards Mr. Lewis, and they are no longer worthy of receiving any donation from me.

  4. I agree Jerry Lewis is MDA he gave a lot of his self and I always watched and gave but the last two years I didn’t bother to turn it on. Someone has done wrong to Jerry Lewis and MDA

  5. Shame on those who let Jerry Lewis go. They should be ashamed of themselves. Dick Clark was our New Year’s Eve icon and Jerry Lewis is and always will be Mr. MDA. I watched the telethon for many years since i was little and I am heart broken to see his sadness at his last telethon in 2010. I will not watch their efforts to have a telethon again. They lost me as a viewer. Here’s the link to his last performance. What a great man! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUMVmRbzTv4

  6. i am 66 years old and have watched the telethon as long as i can remember. i even watched the whole 24-26 hours of it and it was always because of jerry and the stars who came to help him raise $ for his kids. patty duke, sammy davis, steve & eydie, tony bennett, wayne newton. where are all of those powerhouse live acts ? where are all the big corporations, and the small ones, and all the individual donations. i donated for every one of my healthy children every year and prayed that jerry would sing his way out till the day he died or they found the cure. i am so saddened by the lack of respect for him and his efforts. mda will suffer for the loss of his efforts. no one will ever make that kind of committment anymore.

  7. I am appald that this new president of MDA has let Jerry Lewis go. Who do you think started this telethon? Why do you think he started this telethon? Even when he fell very ill with his lungs, he sacrificed himself for those people with MD’s. Then to only put the telethon on for 2 hours? What is that? I am 52 years old. I have watched this telethon since I was 5. I would stay up the whole time not only to see the performers, but to See Jerry accept any donation his sponsers would give him. Every year it got bigger and bigger. I watched 15 minutes of this telethon and it was horrible. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Even when Jerry passes away, this telethon needs to continue with his name. Just like “Dick Clark’s” Rockin Eve, or St. Judes, Danny Thomas founder. You are going to lose MILLIONS of money and MILLIONS of followers. I myself, will be one of them.

  8. I was very upset to hear what MDA did to Jerry Lewis, boy do you know how to show your appreciation many years of this time, name and kindness given. Since they did that how can you trust and believe in then

  9. Today, I thought about the MDA telethon for Jerry’s Kids (as we always did over Labor Day) and I feel very sad about what has transpired. The MDA’s treatment of Jerry Lewis is unbelievably wrong and disrespectful. He gave a great portion of his life-force energy to this cause and he deserves to be treated as the gigantic humanitarian he has been to the MDA organization.
    Someone at the MDA needs a wake-up call.

  10. i was one of the mda kids now i am an adult with it and have a 8 year old son with it we really suppored the telethon but with out jerry will not watch it any more we have a form of it that hits us later in life harder so it is taking its toll on me now i am a fighter and so is my son i learned this from watching jerry as a kid you can’t give up and that is what i tell my son so you need to bring jerry back for the kids we love you jerry

  11. Give Jerry Lesis back his MDA telethon so the kids can get the help they need. The new men in charge will never get the job done like Jerry did.

  12. Roger’s points are very well taken. Last year he pointed out that in 2011, MDA collected only half of their pledges per their tax return. MDA has changed management several times since Jerry was booted out. They need to FIX their public image and stop hiding behind a facade of “Thank you, Jerry”. They blew it…they need to fix it or they are doomed…what is more sad, is the loss to the need patients and families….MDA OWES IT TO THEM!!!!

  13. I started watching the telethon since Jerry started, and even as a child, I would raise as much money as I could and send it in, Why would they do this to someone who was so loyal to a cause.
    I can not even think of MDA, let alone support it’s cause.

  14. Would anyone like to see the network public ally apologize LIVE to Jerry on next years telethon (if there is one) even if Jerry doesnt appear on stage he can be video d in ????

    would need a lot of responses to get anywhere….just a thought !!!!

  15. the stigma that those newbies are attaching to themselves will turn up in their career disappointments….What goes around comes right to your door ! The newbies didn’t show a sense of pride for their careers or the business itself… gracefulness for what they already attained would have brought this to a halt !!

  16. So glad people are starting to respond…. When this first happened last year I felt so frustrated that WeThe People…we re left out information ally…. Then I found this forum….keep writting people…

  17. Well I didnit know about this. I was looking for it on tv and computer and sad to say I am ashamed to hear this. Jerry lewis is the only one that can do this job, Because we respect him and my newphew who had MD. respected this man , there will never ever be any one else for His job. who gets hurt, not only the ones who are hurting and need help which they will never get now. We the people gave the help for the needey for them but because of Jerry, This is just telling you what is happening in this world. JERRY LEWIS WE ALL LOVE YOU AND WE STAND BY YOU. YOUR KIDS LOVE YOU. YOU PEOPLE SHOULD HIDE YOUR HEADS. There is not much hope for them them without Jerry. I could go on and on. Jerry tell us what we can do, we need you

  18. Great reinforcement for Jerry, who really earned it! Hope these keep coming so those newbies can learn what it really takes to be an icom….

  19. There is no other person in the world that can make you fall in love with a child, build you up and make you want to give out of love for the children, and then make you cry until you are sobing over the way he felt about his kids, and they are “His Kids”. No other person in the world but Jerry Lewis. I am so sorry to hear what has happened. It only hurts the Children. We Love you Jerry.

  20. I have followed Jerry since childhood, both as an entertainer and philanthropist. He is a man for the ages. I think that casting him aside was a huge mistake, and trying to invoke his name now to raise money is a slap in the face to a great man. God bless you Jerry.

  21. The Legend he was.
    How he cared so much for others. A new cast of evil knows that a man who performs, donates, generates, adores and cares for whom they may not live to see the next day, has only him to meet and love are the ones we donate for. JERRY’S KIDS.
    The children who look forward onto meeting Jerry, Hugging Jerry, Crying with Jerry, the MDA management who doesn’t care about Jerry, should be declared as animals. The only one way we can break animals are to cage and revamp on how they tend to forget who actually roamed this planet. Jerry, he made the show, he provided the show, he loved to give a show, the show gave MDA the funds to see a show. The kids of MDA are what life has meaning for. Let him perform the show.
    I can’t seem to watch until the Bandleader has returned.
    The kids want him back, I do. God Bless the kids who will suffer without the funds to concur this animalistic disease. The cells of hell will destroy, if we don’t rid this new disease who took over this
    wonderful heart warming show. The new EVIL is not wanted. They will lose lots of funds
    that many believe he was the only, yes the only one that introduced and produced the millions that
    Jerry did for the Kids. I’m heartbroken, a legend has been slashed, bashed and banished from
    the stones of a wall he built. I’m sorry, but I will not provide until he can continue to build the wall
    he has mastered in building because the KIDS are what we seek an answer for, not evil.

    Love the KIDS.

  22. I really Miss Mr’ Lewis he was MDA He put in countless hours year round to prep for this once a year show to raise money for his Kids! i watched it every year until now. Now the show is stupid and a waste of time!! way to go idiots poor decision making.

  23. So very disappointed that they took a great man and ousted him. MDA is the big loser. Ask for his forgiveness, reinstate this genuine giver to all his MDA kids. You have taken away his dream of helping all MDA patients, shame on you. No one can replace him, he has the biggest heart of all. Miss you Jerry. You are loved.

  24. I’ve been very suspicious since Mr. Lewis was so callously removed as MDA chairman that it would severely damage the organization and the flow of necessary donations to medical research. It is evident they are misrepresenting the amount of donations contributed since Jerry was let go. For the good of the cause, a new organization needs to be set up to replace MDA with Jerry Lewis as spokesperson to revive the support that is necessary.

  25. I will do not do a thing da until they bring back Jerry Lewis he is the founder this organization he is the one who brought billions to this organization

  26. Well, I watched this since the begin at WNEW in New York, And my god, this person, who cared, and because he got old, got dumped. Every year I not only gave, but gave my time, and took all the phones for 21 hours to make it work! Now, lol it’s a joke, and I wonder how much has to be stopped cause they couldn’t pay those Dr.s and people who run those places. Someone has to stopped being they lost millions of dollars. I know many, as well as myself, couldn’t believe you treated so poor to Jerry. This man, was a one man band, and he made this worked. I’m aware that towards the end, he would mess up some things, so what!! He was older, but still tryed his best, and remember, he made the money come in! Now it’s gone, and won’t return. The last couple of years, I haven’t even watched it.. Good luck to you all for saying such lies to the public. You really think we believe you made all the money? You think we believe it? Hahaha. Sure.. You stabbed a great man! I love you Jerry Lewis, and I am so glad that my birthday is the same as you! March 16th!

  27. They can take Jerry name off MDA, but they will never take MDA from Jerry. The great
    job he did for all his kids, yes they will always be Jerry kids. God Bless You! Jerry. All
    the hours you put in the telethon, they should all be ashame of themselfs. We all love
    you Jerry!!!!.

  28. Jerry Lewis is an ICON to the Entertainment industry, to the World, to the comedians today, to MDA, to the children and families that were helped, to the talent that that grew out of their appearances on the telethon. How unfortunate for the people working now on that telethon under the guise of Jerry Lewis. There fame will be clouded now forever no matter how many other shows they maybe linked to, this Fiasco WILL IMPACT THEIR CAREERS FOREVER..

    The Icon known as Jerry Lewis will live on thru histories of memories from young children, to the current elder generation.. it will never be erased from minds and hearts, and the names of those who worked on this catastrophe will only be remembered as such…

    I saw Jerry s. channel 13 special of his life s work….Beautiful, entertaining, stirring memories and the audience loved it… The audiences and the public Don t like what was done…

    just a fan from childhood….more should write in…..not just 8…….

  29. A man of integrity, character, and lots of heart. Yes, he was a little crazry and wild but we loved it ! He was a comic…he wanted to make us laugh, cry and show us sadness in his own special way. Jerry made us feel the hurt. Never degraded his audience with “smut” or off color stuff, just kept “Dancing With the Stars”. Jerry’s Kids…He would dance, clown, and sing for a dime. He did it his way and it worked. We Remember always! No Smack Down Here…we got you covered Jerry.

  30. It doesn’t matter how Mr. Jerry Lewis is, isn’t, what he does or doesn’t do, or how germain he is, or isn’t, or popular, or how old he is…

    The facts are that he raised over 1 billion dollars for this organization, that kept the MDA on the map, made it pertinent, and guaranteed it’s existence in perpetuatity.

    They should put Mr. Lewis on a throne, either in the audience, and at times in stage, and just honor him, and pay homage to him, as long as he’s alive.

    Whatever he cost them, it cost them allot more by not having Mr. Lewis there.

    The MDA losts hundred’s of million of dollars, since they just dumped Mr. Lewis in a ditch, and tried to erase his memory.

    Well, there are millions of people, around the world whose memory you can’t erase, and the hundreds of millions you lose, every two years, till the new generation that doesn’t know Mr. Lewis, is staggering, and sad, for the help that thousands of MDA kids, and Adults w/ be out of…

    I guess all the young people w/ the degrees from Harvard, Yale, etc..still can’t do simple Arithmmetic..

  31. I think it s a shame all jerry lewis has down for mad just goes to show everyone were just a number.Jerry did a great job doing this he put his heart an soul into this and this is how they reward him. YOU know what comes around goes around.

  32. My message to the folks at MDA: You had better apologize and bring Jerry back. You can’t afford to lose any more donations.

  33. MDA would not have had near the support it has had without Lewis. So you used him for years your show sucks now.and it is a shame that this organization will disapear alone with Jerry.

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