Mexican telethon a hit

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s first pan-media telethon raised a total of 138 million pesos ($17 million) over the weekend, surpassing its original goal by more than 70%.

The money will be used to build a rehab center in the Mexico City metropolitan area for handicapped children.

The brainchild of Televisa topper Emilio Azcarraga Jean, the telethon was inspired by similar telethons led by Jerry Lewis in the United States, and more recently, top Hispanic TV emcee Don Francisco in Chile. It brought the broadcaster together with channels 40, 11 and 22; cablers Multivison, PCTV and CNI; 14 radio stations; 15 newspapers; and 19 magazines.

Many of Televisa’s top stars performed during the 25-hour telethon, which began in Televisa broadcast studios late Friday and ended Saturday night in the Guillermo Canedo stadium before an audience of 68,000.

Azcarraga Jean announced on Saturday that Televisa will host another telethon next year, for which the donations will be used to provide operating funds for the first center and build additional ones.

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