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BATON ROUGE – The Baton Rouge community donated more than $185,000 between Thursday and Friday for WBRZ Channel 2's Unite for Our Heroes Telethon.

Although the final amount is still being calculated, donations have already exceeded $185,000 since Thursday evening. There are still ways to donate, and we hope to exeed $200,000 in donations.

Last night was one of the most rewarding experiences in my 40-year television career," WBRZ General Manager Rocky Daboval said. "In a matter of days, we came together and produced a telethon that will bring in well over $185,000 for our first responders.  More importantly, I believe it brought this community together and helped start our healing process.”

The money raised benefits the East Baton Rouge First Responder's Fund, an accout established in the 1980s for law enforcement officers who are injured in the line of duty or for their families if they die while on the job. The fund will benefit the families of the officers killed during the July 17 ambush on Airline Highway.

Manship Media President Richard Manship donated $10,000 to the current fund as another $10,000 as seed money to create an additional fund.

WBRZ's Unite for our Heroes Telethon is also available on WBRZ.com and Facebook Live, generating support from across the state and country. The community response was so overwhelming that phone lines stayed active well past the hour long broadcast. The call demand was so high that the expanded phone system couldn't handle the volume, crashing the phone lines twice.

If you missed the event, you can still donate to the EBR First Responder's Fund. Donations can be made at any area Whitney Hancock Bank location, or online HERE.

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