LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Jerry Lewis, bounding back from health problems that sidelined him for most of last year's Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon, raised a record $54.6 million during this year's annual Labor Day weekend event.
Lewis, 74, and telethon anchor Ed McMahon cheered along with a studio audience after announcing the total, which will go to fight neuromuscular diseases.
Lewis, fighting back tears, then broke into his show's trademark closing anthem: "You'll Never Walk Alone."
"We made it for children, for people, for parents ... for humanity," Lewis said, choking back tears. "And what a wonderful thing to live in a life where there are people that care so much."
The 35th annual telethon, a 23-hour variety show of singing, dancing and fund-raising, was broadcast on nearly 200 television stations and was available in streaming video on the Internet. It ended Monday night. The telethon broke last year's mark of $53.1 million by $1.5 million.
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