CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - During a 3 1/2-hour event Saturday night, $147,502 was raised to help Northeast Ohioans during the COVID-19 pandemic and the money kept pouring in after the telethon.
Online donations since then continue add up and more than $160,000 has been raised.
Reminder: The phone number to donate is no longer available but you can still donate online here until 11:59 p.m. Friday, April 10.
19 News joined forces with The Cleveland Cavaliers, WTAM 1100, and 100.7 WMMS for a live telethon.
The money raised will go toward funding for the United Way of Greater Cleveland, the Greater Cleveland Food Bank and other entities that are providing crucial resources for those in need as a result of the extensive impact of COVID-19.
The decision has been made that the proceeds UWGC receives from the telethon will benefit the following organizations:
- Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry
- Westside Catholic Center
- Lakewood Community Service Center
- Sanitation Stations at the homeless encampments
The outpouring of support was overwhelming, especially when you consider that so many people are unable to work or have lost their job during this global pandemic.
There was music, and some of the biggest stars in Hollywood and sports. The spotlight was also on the everyday heroes fighting to save lives against the killer coronavirus.
Radio and TV Talk Show Host and Journalist Geraldo Rivera who lives in Cleveland told 19 News, he felt honored to donate to places like the Cleveland Food Bank and the United Way because they have the communities’ back when times are tough, no questions asked.
“The president yesterday said between 100,000 and 200,000 of us will die. That’s even with the mitigation effort. It’s just a staggering, staggering, depressing, frightening, statistic. I heartened though by the spirit of the community, people pulling together – while keeping their distance,” Rivera said.
It’s about putting down roots in a community and teaming up during a crisis to make sure that everyone has food to eat and someone to turn to.
“This is literally the worst time for a telethon ever, but most importantly it’s the time we need to do a telethon," said Erik Schrader, general manager of 19 News.
The chief executive officer of the Cleveland Cavaliers put it best: no one rallies harder than Cleveland when the chips are down.
“The thing about Cleveland, they always show up as one of the most philanthropic communities in the country," said Len Komoroski the Chief Executive Officer with the Cleveland Cavaliers. "That’s our heritage and when the chips are down we find a way to dig a little bit deeper.”
Because just like a Cavalier shooting the buzzer for the winning shot, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said our first responders are fighting to win against a coronavirus every single day and save lives.
Several celebrities called in during the telethon to push people to donate. Some of those celebrities included Price is Right host, Drew Carey.
Cleveland Cavaliers forward, Kevin Love joined the broadcast from his home.
Love donated $100,000 to arena workers after the NBA season was halted.
Cavaliers Larry Nance and Matthew Dellavedova also urged Clevelanders to donate to the refund.
Many people have found themselves in the kitchen during this pandemic. Chef Michael Symon shared a breakfast option for dinner.