‘Kentucky United’ telethon raises $3M for tornado victims

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A telethon hosted by the University of Kentucky Athletics has raised more than $3 million in donations with matching funds to benefit victims of last weekend’s deadly tornadoes in western Kentucky.

Proceeds from the “Kentucky United for Tornado Relief” telethon will go to the American Red Cross. Donations had reached $3,031,241 with more coming in as the four-hour telethon concluded Tuesday night at Kentucky’s Kroger Field football stadium. The total included $50,000 from Ohio State men’s basketball coach Chris Holtman, a Nicholasville, Kentucky, native.

The event, televised by WLEX-TV with assistance from JMI Sports and streamed on the station’s and Kentucky athletics’ Facebook pages, included Wildcats student athletes and area head coaches volunteering to handle phone calls. Athletic director Mitch Barnhart thanked everyone involved and said in a release that it shows “the special bond that exists throughout the people of the Commonwealth.”

Barnhart added, “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.”

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