WKYT telethon with Coach Cal raises around $500,000

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - On Wednesday night, people donated to Red Cross storm relief efforts through a telethon by WKYT, Coach Cal, and many others.

The "Big Blue Nation Cares" telethon aired on WKYT.

UK basketball players were among those taking your calls.

With help needed on the east coast, people did what they could to pitch in. That help added up to nearly $500,000, according to the Red Cross.

"Just get our team together and say let's just try to do something special," said Coach John Calipari.

For two hours, Red Cross volunteers and UK basketball players answered calls collecting donations for Sandy victims.

"What we are doing is trying to say that people are hungry. They can't eat right now, and they can't move around," said Coach Cal. "There isn't heat in homes. Some of them don't have shelter to even stay in. That's what the American Red Cross will do."

Coach Cal says double of whatever was collected tonight will be delivered to the city of New York.

"I mean it's crazy what this check is going to be when we go to New York and hand this check to the American Red Cross," said Coach Cal.

"You know we are going to end up with Coach Calipari's match. And with the dollars that we've taken in, we are going to get close to half a million dollars tonight just through here," said Winn Stephens, with American Red Cross in Lexington.

Coach Cal says even with a game on Friday that what they are doing here is bigger.

The telethon aired on WKYT, WYMT, and other stations across the state.

Money from Papa John's is also being donated. One dollar is given for every pizza ordered before midnight.

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