UPDATE: MDA Telethon raises millions for medical research, patie - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UPDATE: MDA Telethon raises millions for medical research, patient support

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CHICAGO (AP) -- The Muscular Dystrophy Association's nationally broadcast annual telethon raised more than $56.9 million in contributions over the Labor Day weekend.

The two-hour "MDA Show of Strength" aired Sunday on ABC. The organization said Tuesday morning that it raised $56,952,177. That's less than the approximately $59 million that the telethon raised in 2013.

Celebrities, musicians and athletes appeared on the annual fundraising show to help raise money for the treatment of muscular dystrophy and related diseases.

Grammy-winner LeAnn Rimes, Rascal Flatts and hip-hop star Jason Derulo were part of this year's lineup, along with other entertainers.

The telethon was the fourth since comedian Jerry Lewis's 45-year role as host ended.

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UPDATE: As of 8:30 a.m. Monday morning, the telethon has raised more than $52 million dollars for MDA.

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The nation took time to support the Muscular Dystrophy Association Sunday night for the annual MDA Show of Strength Telethon.

The program aired on ABC stations across the country, including WKOW, to support those living with muscular diseases and to raise money for medical research.

A 9-year-old Wisconsin girl helped celebrities kick off the night of musical performances and education. We introduced you to Reagan Imhoff, from New Berlin, Saturday night on 27 News.

Reagan is this year's MDA National Goodwill Ambassador. She's been traveling the country promoting MDA and raising awareness of diseases like spinal muscular atrophy, which she's had since birth.

"When you're the national ambassador you travel around to all these neat places and you get to meet great people like you guys and you get to meet lots of really famous people," Reagan said while helping host the beginning of the program.

While the telethon may be over for this year, it's never too late to help. Visit MDA's website to learn more about how to get involved.

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