12:37pm

Thu November 8, 2012
The Commonwealth

UK Telethon Raises $500,000 for Sandy Relief

Lexington — The Big Blue Nation Cares – Rebounding from Sandy telethon hosted by University of Kentucky men’s basketball Coach John Calipari and WKYT-TV raised $500,000 for Superstorm Sandy Relief.


“We had an amazing night of support for the important work of the American Red Cross,” Bluegrass Region of the American Red Cross CEO Terry Burkhart said in a news release from the university.. “We are so thankful to Coach Calipari, WKYT, and all the donors for stepping up to help those affected by this terrible disaster.”

Fundraising efforts got a big boost early when John Schnatter, founder of Papa John’s pizza called in to report $1 from every pizza sold on Nov. 7 will be donated to the relief efforts. Schnatter estimated that could total up to $400,000.

“When you consider the money raised on the phones, on-line, through the auction, and with Papa John’s contributions we hope to surpass $1 million,” said Burkhart.

Thousands of people have spent the night in hundreds of Red Cross shelters since the storm began its onslaught on the country. The Red Cross has already served more than 3.2 million meals and snacks and mobilized more than 5,800 disaster workers and almost 300 emergency vehicles have been deployed.

Individuals or organizations still wishing to donate to Big Blue Nation Cares can visit wkyt.com or redcrosslexky.org.