Telethon appeal raises money for Swiss charities

More than 500 events were staged in Switzerland to coincide with this year's telethon event Keystone Archive

A telethon appeal has raised over two million Swiss francs for people who suffer from hereditary diseases.

This content was published on December 9, 2001 - 10:43

The marathon 30-hour event, the fourteenth of its kind, began on Friday evening at 6pm and ended at midnight on Saturday.

Over 500 charity events were staged to mark the occasion across the country.

Firemen in canton Vaud marked the event and attempted to raise money for a good cause at the same time by launching an unusual bid on a world record.

The fire brigade in Avenches succeeded in setting a new world record for the number of fire hoses released at the same time by unrolling 422 of them at a special event on Saturday.

In Zurich, a special "Telethon tram", in which a number of famous Swiss from the worlds of politics and television travelled, was put into service.

By midnight on Saturday, Swiss viewers of the telethon, which was broadcast by French television, had pledged a grand total of SFr2.4 million.

The idea for the telethon originates in the United States, where the first ever round-the-clock broadcast aired in 1966.

Half of the total sum of money raised by Swiss people for the 2001 appeal will go towards funding research into diseases such as muscular dystrophy and cystic fibrosis.

The remainder is destined to be handed out to Swiss organisations and families who care for those who suffer from such diseases.

According to statistics released by the foundation in charge of distributing money collected by the telethon appeal, around 20,000 people in Switzerland suffer from hereditary diseases.

swissinfo with agencies

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