The passion of Boston Red Sox fans is unparalleled, and when that enthusiasm gets shifted to a very worthy cause, the result is often tremendous. This year's WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon was no exception.
The two-day event raised $4.55 million for adult and pediatric cancer research and care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.
“The WEEI/NESN Radio-Telethon has become a tradition for our staff and our network. We are committed to help increase funding in hopes of finding a cure for cancer,” said Sean McGrail, president of NESN. “No other event on our broadcast calendar is as important, or has as much of an impact on as many people as this event.”
The 36-hour event, broadcast on WEEI 850-AM and NESN live from Fenway Park, featured visits from patients, both past and present, as well as Dana-Farber researchers and doctors and celebrity guests.
Many well-known contributors helped the cause, including Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig ($40,000), Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs ($25,000), comedian Mike O’Malley ($10,000), Red Sox manager Terry Francona and pitcher Tim Wakefield.
Other celebrity supporters and callers included Dane Cook, Kelly Clarkson, Denis Leary, Lenny Clarke, David Cassidy, Aaron Neville, Jim Belushi, Donald Trump, Ben Affleck, Donnie Wahlberg, Curt Schilling and Joe Andruzzi.
“Once again, this incredible event has captured the hearts of the community,” said Jason Wolfe, VP of AM programming for Entercom New England. “The tremendous generosity of WEEI’s listeners and NESN’s viewers continues to amaze me. I am incredibly proud of what we have accomplished today in the face of a very difficult economy. It says a great deal about how special the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber truly are.”
The money raised will go a long way toward The Jimmy Fund's ultimate goal.
“The radio-telethon reminds listeners that cancer touches everyone," said Jimmy Fund chairman and 1967 Red Sox second baseman Mike Andrews. "Each dollar we raise plays a vital role in cancer research and care. With WEEI and NESN and all of [their] listeners and viewers on our team, together we are working towards conquering cancer for good.”