RUSH: I want to give you another phone number and remind you of a Web address. This is our 24th annual radio Cure-A-Thon for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of America. It's 24 years that we have done this, and you people have enabled records to be set in terms of donations. You have enabled research and progress toward cures of the blood cancers that are unparalleled.
As is the case most of the time, there simply isn't a proper way to extend thanks to everybody. All I can do is tell you how much it's appreciated by everybody involved, people that you'll never meet, people that you will never know have the greatest appreciation for you. Even though they've not met you, they think that you are their friend.
They consider you a member of their family, simply by virtue of your generosity and your caring and your compassion. Twenty-four years of this Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Cure-A-Thon here on the Rush Limbaugh program. I want you to write down this number because I'm gonna be telling you to call it for the next three hours. It's 877-379-8888, and whatever you have to donate is appreciated.
A dollar, anything. One thing I want to start off by telling people is don't not call because you don't think that whatever you can give or afford matters. We're dealing with such large numbers here. Folks, this is the largest radio talk show audience in the country, by far. If every one of you simply phoned in $1, a new record would be set -- and who knows? We might find cures. It's that many people.
So it doesn't take people giving hundreds or thousands of dollars. They're there, and they do, and they will. But it's like everything else. The biggest stash of money is in the hands of most everybody, and it doesn't take a lot when everybody is participating. That, in fact, is the whole point of cutting taxes. You increase revenue created by having more people paying taxes because they're working.
Cutting taxes grows the economy, and it's the same principle here. The more people participating, the bigger it gets. You don't need to send hundreds of dollars. It's appreciated, but it's not expected. The point is that if you only have $5 or $10 or whatever, don't think that that doesn't make a difference. It does. Now, when we started this 24 years ago, of course the phone was the primary way that people donated.
But online has slowly crept up and has, I think, come close to usurping the phone. So therefore we make both available. You can donate at RushLimbaugh.com. Just click on the link there, and it'll take you wherever you need to go to make it happen. Everything's secure. And, as usual, we have premiums for certain level of donations, and we have new information for you about the progress that's been made.
We have the regular program today, too. We mix all of this into one jam-packed radio program for the next three hours. In fact, let me review quickly. Donations between $75 and $99 get you a Rush Limbaugh T-shirt, the special 2014 Rush Limbaugh T-shirt. It's four colors, 100% cotton, all-natural fibers. It's in a '60s sort of design and comes in a one-size-fits-all. It's perfect for the bedroom. (Ahem.)
For $100 to $374, a golf cap is thrown in with the 2014 Rush T-shirt. The T-shirt with a khaki-colored, adjustable golf cap. It's got my signature and the EIB logo. They are stitched, not stamped, not pressed or whatever. They're actually stitched on the front of the cap, and for $375 and over, a golf shirt, a golf cap, and the T-shirt. Now, the golf shirt's a high-performance golf shirt in custom sizes, small through 2X.
This year's color is kiwi green with the EIB logo stitched on the left chest and my signature on the sleeve. That shirt comes with the T-shirt and cap. You can see all of this when you visit RushLimbaugh.com and follow the links. You know, we're one year shy of 25 years, and I think back to how this got started. And it was an accident. It got started with a little trepidation and nervousness.
I was in New York at the time. The radio landscape was much different than it is now, and in order for me to have a national radio program, I had to do a two-hour local program for New York City only. That was the price that I paid for syndication at the time. Which was fine. Don't misunderstand my tone of voice. That's what was required. Now, on one particular day in April of 1989, I was approached by management of the radio station.
They said, "Hey, you know, we're doing an all-day thing here with all of the ABC owned-and-operated stations. It's an annual leukemia radiothon. We know that you're a national show, so you can't do that on your national show. But if we gave you a phone number, would you give it out a couple of times?" Local radio stations on the ABC networks that were doing this were going wall-to-wall with it, 24 hours nothing but.
It was the Jerry Lewis telethon on radio for leukemia. Actually, I think my three-hour national show was in the middle of this, and my show was on a bunch of stations that weren't ABC owned. So they kind of crept in and said, "Would you mind giving this phone number?" I said, "I'd be happy to. Absolutely," and did.
I think this went couple years like that, and just like things change in radio, the ABC networks went through metamorphosis, and it turned out that the audience for this program generated more revenue than the stations combined during the 24 hours. That's how powerful you people are. I don't say that for any reason other than to let you people know how large you are in terms of this audience and your generosity.
It was stunning. It was unbelievable. A three-hour radio show that just threw the phone number out a couple or three times. It was more than that, but it was not certainly wall-to-wall, and you ended up being the largest donors. So, as the broadcast business changed and ABC bought and sold stations and management changed, the leukemia people approached me and said, "Let's do it one day a year as you've been doing, but let's just have you do it."
I readily agreed, and that's how it got started, and the lesson there is: If you want something, ask for it. They came and they asked. I was more than happy to participate. There were a lot of things going on at the time. I wanted to demonstrate how large this audience was. I wanted to demonstrate its power. I wanted to demonstrate the audience loyalty. Plus, it's a great cause, and it could help millions of people.
So it all made total sense. Here we are 24 years later, and the amount of money that's been collected is huge. Look at it this way. It's a three-hour show one day a year, but it isn't three hours. We don't go wall-to-wall with this. We mix standard programming in with our fundraising efforts and our educational efforts on the latest taking place in medical advances for leukemia and lymphoma, the blood cancers.
It's phenomenal, folks. It just continues to be mind-boggling, even after 24 years. Let me be honest. Twenty-four years is a long time, and there have been economic ups and downs. There have been economic crashes. There has been 9/11. There have been any number of tough times, like right now. Look at the number of people not working. So the powers that be oftentimes, many years, said, "You know, we're not really expecting to do as well this year.
"So don't pressure yourself, Rush. We're not expecting much." Yet except, I think, for the 9/11 year, every year's been bigger than the year before, or close. It hasn't mattered. So the standard rules don't apply. You think, after 24 years, everybody would have been tapped out. Everybody would have said, "Look, I've got no more to give." It hasn't been that way. You all are just amazing. You're just phenomenal.
Your being here and your admitting being here -- and the proof that you're here by all of the patronage that you engage in and all the donations that you have sent to this organization -- have everybody else on the outside just staring at this in wonderment. None of it makes sense. You can't do this in three hours a year. You can't do this by mixing in other programming.
You can't do this without television and pictures and sob stories -- and yet, we do. We continue to live outside the box and allow that genuine love and loyalty and devotion triumph over whatever obstacles. So here we are again, this is our 24th annual Cure-A-Thon for leukemia and lymphoma, plus the rest of Open Line Friday. Again, the phone number to give is 877-379-8888 or RushLimbaugh.com, if you want to contribute and donate online.
By the way, we're secure. Don't sweat it. Don't sweat this Heartbleed thing if you're keeping up with the supposed bug. The latest that I have been able to glean on that is that maybe the whole thing didn't happen. Maybe the key, the encryption key really wasn't violated. That's the latest, just as of a half an hour ago. I just want... This is the way these things go. It's always an urgency and a panic at the outset.
It's always people preaching the worst. But then you sit back and you wait two or three days and you find out it wasn't nearly as bad as they thought. The point is (I don't want to get deeply into that), don't worry about the security of online and don't worry about ending up in this massive database that you're gonna be hounded by or from later on. Nothing in that regard has changed.
As always, ladies and gentlemen, I do not come here and say, "The value that I bring to this is my time." I never do these radio Cure-A-Thons without first doing what I'm asking you to do. So I always throw in an amount of cash myself or appreciated stock, whichever. But I always make a donation to lead it off. Some years I announce what it is. Other years I don't. The years I don't, people demand that I tell 'em what it is.
I say, "My parents always said, 'Don't do that. People are gonna think you're bragging.'" But others say, "No, no, no, no. People want to know," and so forth. So I'm always nervous about expressing how much. But I'll just tell you this year in advance. I'm gonna do this in honor of the 25th year. The 25th year is next year, this is the 24th, but Kathryn and I are going to kick this off with a cool half a million.
Now, we've gotten there in increments in previous years, but I've never started with this amount. So I'm just gonna start with that and then throw it open to you. We'll have the rest of the program to discuss it. We have some updates and some information on what's happening with the progress to find a cure. In areas where a cure is not found, survivability rates are increasing with some really, really great news to report, in conjunction with all the contributions and donations that you have made over the years.
It really has meant something.
RUSH: You know, I just chatted with Larry Vanderveen, who is one of the head honchos at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. He's been there 24 years. You know, all these people at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, they're like my friends at the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation. They don't get paid anything. All of the money goes to helping. I mean, it's incredible.
The pass through is like 95, 96%. This is a labor of love for these people. They've all been affected by myeloma, leukemia. Every one of them there. Pam Edelstein and Vanderveen, they've been there the whole time, 24 years. They were there before we started this. Vanderveen's up in New York right now tabulating everything as it comes in. I said, "What do I get for my donation, 500,000? What are the premiums I get?"
He said, "Well, you get the golf shirt, the golf cap, and your own T-shirt. As an added benefit, we'll FedEx it to you free." So, see, folks, there isn't any... (laughing) Anyway, I urge you to join Kathryn and me in this. It's so rewarding. It's such a great, great cause with so many great people, and so much success that people are having, the doctors and the researchers. The research into the blood cancers is providing valuable research information for other diseases and other forms of cancer.
So there's a multiple effect, if you will.