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From their homes right here in Northeast Ohio to as far away as California, athletes and entertainers came together on April 4th for one common goal: to help those who need it most. With many individuals and families in our area struggling during the current health crisis, the Cavaliers joined 19 News to host “All For THE LAND: COVID-19 Relief Live,” a telethon to raise money for the United Way of Greater Cleveland and the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. Thanks to the generosity of viewers, more than $155,000 was raised for the two organizations!
The three-and-a-half-hour live broadcast was simulcast on CW 43 WUAB and iHeart radio partners WTAM 1100 and 100.7 WMMS. The telethon featured live and taped interviews and performances via FaceTime and Zoom.
Head coach J.B. Bickerstaff and players Kevin Love, Larry Nance Jr. and Matthew Dellavedova called in to offer their support to all those serving on the frontlines and encourage others to stay home. Legends Austin Carr, Jim Chones, Daniel Gibson and Brad Daugherty also checked in from home. Broadcasters John Michael, Tim Alcorn and Rafa Hernandez-Brito co-anchored the telethon live from Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. In addition, Cleveland Monsters captain Zac Dalpe and broadcaster Tony Brown performed a song, and Brown called an accuracy shooting contest between Dalpe and teammate Justin Scott.
“This is a crisis in Cleveland,” said Augie Napoli, President and CEO of United Way of Greater Cleveland. “We have some of the highest poverty rates in the country for children, working age adults and seniors which United Way is committed to addressing head on, but we now find ourselves with the added crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has only exacerbated the poverty problem in Cleveland. We’re all in this together and with these generous donations, United Way of Greater Cleveland can meet the rising community needs through partnerships with agencies serving on the frontlines of this crisis every day.”
“So many people who never, ever thought they’d be in a position to need help are turning to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank right now,” said Kristin Warzocha, President and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. “We’re so glad that through donor and community support, we can be there to make nutritious food possible. Unfortunately, we expect the economic impact on those who are living in poverty and those who have lost their jobs will go on, so they’ll continue to turn to the Food Bank and our partner agencies for quite some time. We’ll be there for them, we’re in this for the long haul.”
Napoli and Warzocha added, “We thank Dan Gilbert - owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Len Komoroski - Chief Executive Officer of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, and Erik Schrader - WOIO/WUAB Vice President and General Manager and their teams for their tremendous work and support in bringing this telethon to life on behalf of our fellow Clevelanders.”
Other guests throughout the night included actor Drew Carey, Chef Michael Symon, former Cleveland Indian Jim Thome, Cleveland Browns legend Bernie Kosar, various musical acts, iHeartRadio personalities and many others.