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March of Dimes Hopes To Raise $13 Million in Telethon

June 29, 1986

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Ben Vereen helped launch this year’s March of Dimes’ telethon Saturday night with a song and dance tribute to Lady Liberty filmed aboard a ship near the Statue of Liberty in New York City.

Organizers of the 21-hour, nationally televised ″Born America″ extravaganza hope to raise more than $13 million for use in research to prevent birth defects.

The fund raising effort was scheduled to continue through 9 p.m. EDT Sunday.

Last year, $13 million was raised nationwide, said Rebecca Fajardo, a spokeswoman for the health organization.

″We expect to surpass last year’s (total),″ she said.

The telethon, with actor Hal Linden as host and Gary Collins, Mary Ann Mobley and Sarah Purcell co-hosts, was being broadcast by 112 stations nationwide.

The March of Dimes was organized in 1938 and is credited with helping to virtually eradicate polio in the United States. The organization has supported research and medical services for the prevention of birth defects diagnosis and treatment.

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