Historic Telethon Simulcast Raises $100 Million For Terrorist Attack Victims
“Tonight we paid tribute to those who were lost and those who survived the fire and the fate that rained down upon them. And the heroes at ground zero who in life and death wear an indelible badge of honor.”-Clint Eastwood
A historic two-hour telethon simulcast by over 30 television networks and 8,000 radio outlets nation-wide has raised an estimated $150 million thus far. Almost 90 million people watched part of “America: A Tribute To Heroes,” with an average of 60 million watching during an average minute.
The networks, including CBS, ABC, NBC and FOX, bore the cost of the commercial-free broadcast, and the host of stars involved donated their time and talent. Aired from Sony’s studio in New York and CBS Television City in Los Angeles, the telethon was also seen in at least 156 countries. U.S. military personnel abroad watched via television and radio in 175 countries through the American Forces Network.
A long-list of Hollywood, television and music stars performed, pled for pledges, told vignettes of victims and worked the phone banks. The show opened with Bruce Springsteen singing about the ruin in New York and ended with Willie Nelson and a chorus of stars singing “America the Beautiful.” Other celebrities participating in the telethon included Tom Cruise, Robert DeNiro, Faith Hill, U2, Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst, Neil Young, Tom Hanks, Dixie Chicks, Billy Joel, Mariah Carey, Clint Eastwood, Will Smith, Muhammad Ali and many more.
Eastwood summed up the aura of the evening saying, “The terrorists, who wanted 300 million victims, are instead going to get 300 million heroes.”
All CBC television stations and its radio station broadcast the telethon. All funds raised go to the “September 11th Fund” established by the United Way. Donations are still being accepted; visit www.tributetoheroes.org for details.