RUSH: Greetings, my friends, and welcome. We are here, as promised, Rush Limbaugh, the whole crew. Of course the crew doesn’t really matter much, ’cause I’m what counts, on Friday. Let’s go.
JOHNNY DONOVAN: And now, from sunny south Florida, it’s Open Line Friday!
RUSH: And actually this is a day where the crew is crucial. This is a big day. It is our 26th annual Cure-A-Thon, radiothon, Cure-A-Thon. The objective, to cure the blood cancers: leukemia, lymphoma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. And we do it in conjunction with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of America. Twenty-six years that we’ve done this. And this one — I’m sorry. I’m really anxious about this. I get more and more anxious every year as the Cure-A-Thon approaches and as the day arrives.
Twenty-six years, and I think all but two of those years — and it may be all but one — but for 24, 25 years we have always done better than the previous year, which just astounds me, for all of the obvious reasons. The amount of real appreciation that I have for every one of you, I mean, I have that each and every day. I count my lucky stars each and every day that, of all the people in America I could attract as an audience, it’s you. You’re just the best audience anybody in media could have. And you come through each and every time you’re asked, and it’s a mind-boggling thing to realize.
This is also a challenging year. This is our second year of doing the Cure-A-Thon without Kit Carson. This was his deal. I mean, we’re all involved in it, and I of course am the face and the voice of it, but it was Kit who early on developed relationships with all the people at Leukemia and Lymphoma and stayed in touch with them and coordinated various things about this day, the logistics throughout the year, and it just doesn’t feel the same. Having him here and the other end of the line here reporting statistics to me, relaying messages, suggesting things to say, criticizing other things I’ve said.
So there’s a void there. There’s a void in our hearts over the fact that Kit isn’t here. But we know he’s here in spirit, and we know that he is every bit as much a part of this as he ever has been, because while there’s a void in our hearts, he remains right there.
Now, let me give you a telephone number. I’ll be repeating the number throughout the program. It’s 877-379-8888. And that’s the phone number to call to donate to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of America and our Cure-A-Thon. You can also donate at RushLimbaugh.com. You can also donate at our Facebook page, and you can donate at our Twitter page. Online donations are rapidly taking over phone, but if you want a phone call to donate you can do that at 877-379-8888.
Twenty-six years of doing this, and such a great cause and with such great people. Everybody at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society that we deal with on this day as been personally affected by one or more of these blood cancers, either themselves or members of their family, close friends, even members of the organization. And one thing we do here that makes it even more astounding to me is that we don’t devote the whole show to it. We continue to do the regular radio program.
We will talk about Bill Clinton and Sister Souljah, too. This is actually profound what is happen on the Democrat side with Bill Clinton and this. ‘Cause I need to give you the history of this. I need tell you why this is even going on. This is directly traceable to the Clinton administration, what is happening. The problems that Bill Clinton finds himself in are problems that were demanded he fix by Congressional Black Caucus and other African-American community groups way, way back in the nineties.
This is why we had a hundred thousand new cops. This is why we had the vaunted Clinton crime bill. The very people who demanded that this kind of thing be done to clean out crack cocaine-ravaged neighbors, the same people demanding that are now the same people that have started Black Lives Matter and they’re dumping all over Bill Clinton. And he’s not alone in saying what he said about who Black Lives Matter is and how hypocritical they are.
We’ve got news on the Republican and Democrat campaign fronts, as always. So it is really sobering when you stop to think that we do the regular radio program and combine the radiothon as part of it. Most people that engage in this would broom the regular radio programming format the whole day and they would just go wall-to-wall with the Cure-A-Thon. You people are so fabulous it’s not necessary.
The way this all began, very briefly, when I began to do this national program in New York in 1988, it was a convoluted setup because we couldn’t get the program on a New York affiliate for the first couple of years. And then we did, and that program that was on the New York affiliate happened to be a national program. It wasn’t tailored to New York locally. So back in the early days of this the entire unit of ABC owned and operated radio stations broomed an entire broadcast day, seven or eight radio stations coast to coast, and they went from sunup to sundown, nothing but the Cure-A-Thon. Every one of the radio stations broomed all normal programming, and there was my three hours right in the middle of it in New York.
So the station management at WABC and the executives from Leukemia Lymphoma came to me and said, “Hey, we know that we can’t tell you not to do your show today and go wall-to-wall, but if we give your phone number, would you mention it a couple times?”
I said, “I’ll be happy to, absolutely.” So I did. The first year we mentioned the phone number two or three times, mentioned what was going on, raising money to cure the blood cancers. And the short version of the story is that it didn’t take long for everybody to realize that — well, I don’t know how to say this. (laughing) You people were generating more money in our three-hour radio program, more donations than an entire multiple station wall-to-wall 12-hour sunup to sundown day. That’s not to condemn that. It’s just to talk about how amazing all of you are.
And so now the entire radiothon, Cure-A-Thon, takes place on one day, on one program on over 600 stations now, of course, for three hours, but we don’t even go wall to wall with it, and even at that, all of you continue to set records each and every year, except for a couple hours. I think 2008 was a down year because of the economic collapse, and there was one other, but I don’t remember which one it is.
As I say, I always get anxious. You know me, meet, surpass expectations every day, every month, every week, what have you. And so we come to you once again trying to reach into your heart and to your mind and to continue to ask you to assist this valiant effort to cure the blood cancers. I’ve said it every year. If everybody in this audience just contributed a dollar, we would automatically establish maybe an entire record for all charitable activities. Just to illustrate how many people there are, and if everybody just gave a dollar.
Now, of course that doesn’t happen, but the numbers of people that donate, the amount of money per capita that comes in always goes up every year, and we continue to sit here and look at the numbers in amazement. We really do. I’ve run out of ways to say thank you. I’ve run out of ways to tell you how much we appreciate it. I trust by this time you’re fully aware of it, are ready and aware of the drill.
The mission of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is to cure leukemia, to cure lymphoma, Hodgkin’ lymphoma, myeloma, and to improve the quality of life for patients and their families. That’s a big deal, that is happening. Life expectancy is expanding, quality of life is expanding, assistance for families, patients, is expanding. Research continues to prove worthwhile with great, great advancements and results in drug therapy, treatment therapy, and diagnostic therapy.
The pass-through is phenomenal. There’s no huge overhead here. This is not like some charities that take 40% of what’s donated to pass around to live on. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society passes on almost everything that comes through. There’s very, very little overhead because of the mission. They receive no government funding, either. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, no government funding. They realize on the generosity of individuals, the generosity of foundations, corporate contributions to advance their mission.
And then there’s the patient services program. It’s designed to guide patients on the difficult cancer journey and offers free of charge a variety of programs, including disease information, financial aid, family support groups, and referrals to other local community resources. That Information Resource Center, by the way, stands out among health organizations and call centers. It began in 1987. The Information Resource Center has helped more than one million callers. It’s staffed with masters-level health care professionals and expanded its hours from nine a.m. to nine p.m.
I know what happens. It seems like every week in just consuming news, you learn of somebody that everybody knows, a celebrity, a personality, somebody in a group that everybody thinks is invincible. All of a sudden you learn that somebody has died that you didn’t even know was ill. Or you learn that somebody has contracted one of the blood cancers, and you can’t believe it, you’re astounded. Maybe at age 65.
The numbers of children affected by this disease are also astounding. But then you don’t even need that. There’s the personal diagnosis. There’s many of you in this audience that have faced that news. Many of you have experienced symptoms. You’re not feeling well. You have no idea what it is. There are no outward symptoms. You just know things aren’t right.
You go for a checkup. You can tell by the look on the doctor’s face that this is not just an everyday, average malady. People are facing the terrible news of this diagnosis daily. I’m sure many of you in this audience have. It’s especially difficult when you find out one of your children has been diagnosed. It wrenches you apart. It tears at your gut. You wonder how you’re gonna get through it. You wonder how you’re going to pay for it. You wonder how in the world it happened. You wonder why it happened.
You go through all of these different phases, and then reality hits, and you have to deal with it. That’s when you learn a lot about yourself. That’s when you learn a lot about people you love. And that’s when you learn a lot about people you are yet to meet. That’s when you find out what the people at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society do each and every day. They’re there. They’re waiting. They know that you or somebody like you — somebody in this audience, many people in this audience — are gonna get that diagnosis.
They deal with it constantly. They have dealt with it personally. The doctors involved know. The support staff know. It is a devastating bit of news to pass on to people. But we’re all adults, and it is what it is. You have to face it. Then when you learn how life expectancy has been improved and expanded, when they sit you down and they tell you that you or your wife, your spouse, your child has a bit of a better future than you initially thought, then you go through a period of rejoicing because it won’t be as bad as you thought.
Primarily because people like you throughout the years have enabled the research and the counseling and the assistance to the families and all of the medical aspects of curing the disease. In the process of curing it is limiting its scope, limiting its strength; attacking it. There are all kinds of advances that have taken place in leukemia and lymphoma research that have helped cancers not related to the blood. And so every dime that comes in, every dollar that comes in ends up being worth it, personally transferable to people who are going to face this diagnosis.
Just in the course of this program, just in the course of the busy day today, lots of people are gonna find out that — for nothing they did, through absolutely no fault of their own, not for one reason — they have been diagnosed with the blood cancers, and that’s where you come in. It’s where we all come in. And we’re here today as we are one day a year to do what we can to make it as less tragic, less jarring, less depressing, and perhaps even hopeful for people who get that news. The telephone number is 877-379-8888. It’s that number every year if you want to donate — if you can — anything whatsoever to fight Leukemia and Lymphoma.
We have goodies. We have premiums, as we do every year, based on how much you donate. You are gonna get a little prize. I’ll go through the list of what those things are. All of this, by the way, is at our website, RushLimbaugh.com. Every aspect of what we do today you can see. You can donate. You found out what the premiums are. Again: 877-379-8888. Today is a day that we advance our curing blood cancers and maybe save some lives. We don’t know, but that’s the objective. You may never know personally what your donation has done, but you can be confident — you can rely on the fact — that you are helping tremendously, in ways you never know.
Don’t doubt me.
RUSH: You wouldn’t believe this. So somebody said, “Wait a minute, you always donate, and you didn’t say you’re gonna donate. Are you not gonna donate?” Of course I’m donating! Folks, I never ask people to do something that I wouldn’t do. I couldn’t do that. These guys that do these radiothons or TV telethons or whatever, you always wonder, “How much are you gonna Monty, old buddy, old pal?” “Oh, I’m donating my time.” That’s not gonna get it done. Your time is not gonna help anybody. So I always…
You know, my problem is, if I tell you right now how much Kathryn and I are gonna donate I’m afraid some of you might say, “Well, then we don’t need to give anything ourselves.” So I’m gonna hold off for a little while in announcing my own personal contribution, which I do each and every year. But, folks, we have collectively raised… I forgot the number now, the sum total. But I think it’s like $32million, $33 million last year. Three hours a day, once a year. It’s just astounding. When we come back from the break I’m gonna have just a brief explanation of the premiums, little prizes that you get this year for certain levels of donation. But it is our annual Cure-A-Thon. We’re trying to cure the blood cancers.
It’s 877-379-8888 if you want to use the phone.
You can donate also at RushLimbaugh.com.
RUSH: So I just checked the e-mail, and there’s a couple in there say, “Hey, Rush, you shouldn’t expect to raise more money this year. You know, there’s no way you can raise more money this year. Look at how many people are not listening to you anymore. Look at all the people that said they’re not gonna listen to you anymore because the Trump and the Cruz thing.” And I said, “You know, that’s a good point. There’s a lot of people out there that were listening last year that claim they’re gone; they’re not gonna be here this year.”
So I could rely on that if I want as an excuse. But see, I don’t believe it. Let me tell you one of the other things we don’t do. You know one of the things we learned about the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy telethon? Everybody is so much more worldly than I am. I always believed for all those years that they did everything during that 24-hour telecast. I thought the fundraising began when they went on the air. I was stunned when I found out that we were raising money all year. I literally was, and I was in my adulthood when I figured this out.
That’s how naive I was and how susceptible I am to media packaging and PR. I had no idea that they’re working year round to raise money and that they pretty much got everything they’re gonna get when they go on the air, that the actual telethon — and this is not just to folks on muscular dystrophy. It’s just things that I learn about things and how we don’t do it that way here. This is it. We do not work here, not on this program. Leukemia Lymphoma does.
But we’re not out there raising money all year long.
And whatever we raise, add it to what we generate today and come up with this massive total. Whatever we get, we get in these three hours. And that’s it. And that’s why you all are so amazing. You wouldn’t believe the amount of money you come up with every year. It’s really sobering, folks, and it’s humbling to me that you do. So everything is done differently here from the way conventional wisdom, standard operating procedure for this kind of enterprise takes place. There’s nothing that goes on other than what happens in these three hours.
Like last year. By the way, here’s a list I promised you, the list of the premiums that we have for certain levels of donations: $75 to $99 you get a T-shirt. It’s athletic gray T-shirt this year, big, black EIB logo on it, one-size-fits-all. If you donate between $100 and $384, you get a T-shirt and an EIB hat to go along with it. It’s the athletic gray shirt, black hat, gray and white EIB logo, one-size-fits-all. Now, the hat is decorated with the official EIB signature and 2016 logo in contrasting embroider, and it’s also one-size-fits-all.
And if you donate $385 or more, then you are entitled to the polo shirt and the EIB hat. It’s a gray polo shirt this year. Black EIB logo, the hat is black with gray and white logo, and the shirts come in all sizes, and the EIB hat is a one-size-fits-all. All of this is at RushLimbaugh.com. I don’t want to spend a lot of time mentioning the premiums, but they’re there, and you can find out all about them and see them at RushLimbaugh.com.
RUSH: And once again, folks, I just got a report on the activity in our Cure-A-Thon for this hour. I’m reluctant to pass on good news, ’cause I’m afraid that it might cause people to say, “Oh, wow man, we don’t have to do as much.” We’re up over 200% from last year, in the first hour. Up over 200%. It’s all you on. You all are just the absolute best about audience in the. And we have two more hours of this. I’m so proud, I’m really honored to host a program with — and I know you. I know who you are without seeing you, I know who you are. And I treasure the fact that you’re there.