Tolman Family Makes Final Preparations for Virtual MDA “Telethon” Party

September 1, 2020 

*All photos submitted by the Tolman Family

As Labor Day weekend rapidly approaches, The Tolman Family and their “Telethon Team” are making final preparations for the 44th annual MDA “Telethon” Party, which will, to help raise funds to benefit Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).

Due to Covid-19, children and adults with neuromuscular disease face a higher health risk and risk of isolation right now. There is so much uncertainty, but one thing is certain- we need your support more than ever, so MDA can continue to provide the needed resources now and after the pandemic.

In addition, Covid-19 has caused cancellation of all in person fundraising events which has affected MDA programming all year. The pandemic threatens to curtail the vital services that MDA families depend on. Our event will be virtual via zoom, and you can join our Tradition of caring by going to

Every day, children are born with muscular dystrophy and adults are diagnosed with ALS and other life-threatening diseases that rob them of their most basic freedoms – like walking, talking, eating, hugging their loved ones, and ultimately life itself.

We are raising money to help MDA fight back in the face of the Covid pandemic. The money we raise will help children and adults in our community and will also help support innovative research to change the future for people with neuromuscular disease.

We will get through this difficult time with your help.

1966 was the first 21 hour national Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon.  How many remember watching the Jerry Lewis Telethon over the years? Our local “Telethon” event was recognized nationally, and featured on the Jerry Lewis Telethon in the late 90’s.

What started out as a small MDA party fundraiser, with a handful of Jay’s friends, raising $50 the first year, has grown, and has to date raised over $639,000 for MDA. The Hingham MDA “Telethon” event has become a family and community event and tradition. The event began at Jay’s mother’s back yard in 1977, at the Hingham Community Center in 1988, and at Congregation Sha’aray Shalom in Hingham since 2011.

For many years Jay returned from Hollywood, Ca to organize the MDA event in Hingham, and then for 17 years, Jay and his family would caravan up from Princeton, NJ to host the MDA “Telethon” event in Hingham. Now living in Cohasset for 12 years, has made for a less stressful journey to organize and put on the event. “I grew up in Hingham, and this special event has its roots in Hingham, and is where we will always have this event for MDA.”

Jay states. “It’s hard to believe that we are in our 5th decade of our MDA “Telethon” event. So many wonderful memories and caring people that have gotten involved with our efforts and support the goals of the MDA. With the support of my wife Jodi, and our three amazing children, Charlie, Chloe, and Jack, and the unending support and compassion of our amazing, “Telethon Team”, our fight continues.  Our desire and commitment is to help MDA find treatments and cures for the forty three neuromuscular diseases such as Duchene and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). The tradition of caring continues for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

If you would like to learn more about the Tolman MDA “Telethon” Party, the history of this event, join the fun, or donate  and join our “virtual” team, contact Jay Tolman at or

MDA is the nonprofit health agency dedicated to curing muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases by funding worldwide research. The Association also provides comprehensive health care and support services, advocacy and education.

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