The Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon, an annual Labor Day tradition in the United States, says they have contributions and pledges totaling almost $59 million – slightly down from last year’s $60.5 million. The telethon supports research to find treatments and cures for muscular dystrophy and related diseases.

Telethon officials are happy with the number, considering the economic difficulties facing many Americans.

“I’m heartened by the unique ability of Americans to help others in need, when they themselves are likely struggling financially,” said Lewis.

This is the 45th telethon, which reached over 40 million viewers.

Lewis, who at 84 continues his support for the telethon, ended this year’s event with the traditional singing of his signature song, “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”