‘Kentucky United’ Telethon Raises $3 Million for Tornado Relief

More than $3 million was generated (with matching funds) during the “ United for Tornado Relief” telethon Tuesday, with all proceeds going to the American Red Cross to benefit victims of the tornadoes that devastated much of last week. 

United was broadcast by WLEX-TV, with assistance from JMI Sports, as University of Kentucky Athletics hosted the event at the Kentucky Farm Bureau Recruiting Room at Kroger Field. The telethon was also streamed on lex18.com and on the UK Athletics and WLEX pages. 

Every head coach who was in Lexington on Tuesday volunteered his or her time. The coaches teamed with student-athletes, who took time off during exam week to handle the multitude of telephone calls, which continued to arrive even after the event went off the air.

With donations still coming in at the conclusion of the telethon, the tabulation had reached $3,031,241 at that point.

“On an incredible night, the Big Blue Nation and all of continue to show the special bond that exists throughout the people of the Commonwealth,” said Mitch Barnhart, Director of Athletics. “As relief organizations and volunteers continue to help rebuild the lives of so many, we are thankful to all who contributed to the telethon, the volunteers who made it happen, the American Red Cross, WLEX and JMI Sports. When you raise more than $3 million in four hours through the hearts of wonderful people who care so deeply about those who are hurting, it’s really special.

“We will continue to find ways to help rebuild, restore, heal and return stronger than before. Our hearts extend this hope and promise to the people of Western Kentucky.”

Athletics would like to thank everyone who played a part in the United telethon, including Joe and Kelly Craft.

Donations to United can continue to be made in these ways:

American Red Cross
Attn: Kentucky Tornadoes
1450 Newtown Pike
Lexington, KY 40511