Tina Fey’s Rise Up New York telethon raised $115 million
Tina Fey returned to 30 Rockefeller Plaza last Monday to host a virtual telethon called Rise Up New York! The Robin Hood Relief Benefit. Celebrities including Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Audrey McDonald, Patti LuPone, Barbara Streisand, Sting, Bon Jovi, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Spike Lee, Robert DeNiro, Eli Manning and Phil Simms performed. They aked viewers to donate to the Robin Hood Organization to help those in need due to COVID-19. At the end of the telethon, Tina read the final total, which at that time was $115M. Not knowing the total before she read it, Tina was so overwhelmed with everyone’s generosity, she broke down as she thanked people for their support.
Tina Fey was brought to tears over the generosity of Americans who reached out to help New Yorkers affected by the coronavirus pandemic on Monday night.
The Emmy winner and Saturday Night Live alum, 49, was hosting Rise Up New York! The Robin Hood Relief Benefit — a star-studded virtual telethon raising money for the city’s leading poverty-fighting organization — when she got emotional while reading the final tally.
“Is this real?” she asked producers, seeing the number for the first time. “Okay. $115 million. We did this. You did this. We are difference makers. $115 million! What a great day for New York.”
“Thank you, for everyone, who gave and gave and gave, all over the world,” Fey said, holding back tears. “There’s so much more to do. Please visit robinhood.org. Donate. Share it. Tell your friends. Please. Let’s keep this going. Robin Hood’s site will say open after this telethon is over because this battle is far from over. Thank you.”
Fey, who hosted the relief benefit from her old stomping grounds of 30 Rockefeller Center, was accompanied by A-listers like Jennifer Lopez, Robert De Niro, Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick, Chris Rock, Jake Gyllenhaal, Sutton Foster, Rosie Perez, Jimmy Fallon, Salt-N-Pepa, Fab 5 Freddy, Trevor Noah, Danny Meyer, David Chang and Beastie Boys rappers Mike D and Ad-Rock.
“COVID-19 has been an unprecedented global event, but no place has been hit harder than New York,” Fey explained. “Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers are out of work and 2 million of our neighbors are now going hungry. We’re going to honor this incredible city and show how we can rise up and help our neighbors in need.”
All donations from the virtual telethon, which was broadcast across multiple networks and iHeartMedia radio channels, will go to Robin Hood’s efforts to provide food, shelter, mental health, education, financial and legal services to those in need.
You can watch the full event here. There are too many artists, performers, sports figures and politicians, etc. to list them all. Some performances were better than others, but they all carried the same emotional weight. That, coupled with the kindness of everyone who donated anything they could, showed the best this country has to offer. It is still possible to donate to this relief effort; you can do so at RobinHood.Org. $115M is an amazing result and everyone who contributed to it should pat themselves on the back (I’m sure the number is higher today). Tina’s reaction was a very lovely, honest way to end the event. Following Tina’s announcing the final tally, Gov Andrew Cuomo introduced Billy Joel’s performance of Miami 2017, accompanied by a light show on the Empire State Building that was broadcast across Times Square. It was a beautiful and fitting finale, ending with Billy’s sign off, “Stay strong New York, please. Wear a mask, that way you won’t catch any sh-t from anybody.”
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