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. . . $3.6 Million for Homeless

Times Staff Writer

Comic Relief III collected $3.6 million in pledges as of Sunday morning, exceeding last year’s version of the four-hour HBO comedy telethon by nearly $1 million, according to the pop charity’s officials.

“Credit card (pledges) made up almost 45% of that, which is a significant increase,” said Comic Relief vice president Dennis Albaugh. “Last year, credit cards made up 20% of the pledges and our total was $2.7 million.”

According to Albaugh, call-in donations made with a Visa or MasterCard are far more likely to be paid than non-credit card pledges.

“You better believe we’re pleased,” he said.

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Plans for a Comic Relief IV to be staged at Radio City in New York next year are already underway, according to the show’s producer Chris Albrecht.

Because HBO underwrites production costs of the program and all of the comedians’ performances are donated free of charge, 100% of the money pledged to Comic Relief goes to aid the homeless. Contributions are funneled to 23 medical care projects for the homeless in urban areas across the nation, including three that are located in California: San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Albaugh vowed that the charity would repeat the fiscal accomplishments of Comic Relief I and II, which delivered a public accounting of the money raised and distributed proceeds to the homeless within six months.


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