MDA Telethon to Vary from Annual Tradition

6:10 PM, Aug 31, 2012   |    comments
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A favorite Labor Day tradition of many Central Georgians since the 1960's returns this Sunday to 13WMAZ.

The MDA Telethon promises star-studded entertainment and a hotline to help people with nueromuscular diseases.

You'll also notice some big changes from years past.

Central Georgia firefighters tee off for Muscular Dystrophy year round, hosting golf tournaments, running boot drives and a host of other fundraisers.

Chief Ross Moulton with the Warner Robins Fire Department said, "We cook boston butts twice a year. They're $25."

Before joining the fight as a fire fighter, Macon-Bibb Fire Chief Marvin Riggins remembers watching the telethon as a child.

Riggins said, "Seems like it was on, for days seems like it was on."

For years, it ran 21-and-a-half hours. Last year, the Muscular Dystrophy Association cut it to 6 hours, announcing that the show's founder Jerry Lewis would not participate.

This year they trimmed it to just three hours, attributing the shift to "a change in television viewing habits."

As a result of those decisions, you will notice changes in the local segments, too.

13WMAZ will not be coming to you from the Wellston Center in Warner Robins. Instead Ben Jones, Lorra Lynch Jones and Randy Thoms with the Warner Robins Fire Department will be broadcasting live from our studios in Macon.

Viewers will also notice that there will not be a local phone bank. Calls for donations will be directed to a national hotline.

It's a long shot from the Telethon of old, but for the firefighters, they say their mission is still the same.

Moulton said, "We're still going to continue to do the things we've always done."

Riggins added, "The end result is the kids. It's going to help."

The MDA Telethon starts Sunday night at 9 p.m., and runs to midnight on 13WMAZ.

You will see stories from people affected by the disease, hear from MDA's national goodwill ambassador and watch performances from a host of celebrity guests.

Entertainers include Carrie Underwood, will.i.am, Luke Bryan and many more.

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