“For most of my life I thought that doing good for someone didn’t mean you would receive commendation for that act of kindness,” Lewis said. “At least until now.
“This award touches my heart and the very depth of my soul because of who the award is from, and those who will benefit.”
Jerry Lewis is now best known for his work with the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Lewis has been the advocate of those stricken with the diseases that the association works for since 1966. In that time he has helped to rise $2 billion.
Lewis began with the group though many years before the first telethon. He has refused to reveal the reasons for working with the charity.
The Associated Press reports:
“The impact of his humanitarian efforts on people with muscle-wasting diseases is beyond measure,” Muscular Dystrophy Association President Gerald C. Weinberg said in a statement released earlier this month.
The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award is named for the Danish actor who co-founded the Motion Picture Relief Fund. That fund helps to pay for those in the movie industry who can’t afford their own medical care. Hersholt also served as one of the Academy’s presidents.
There were some behind the scenes though who were not for this award. A small band of protesters picketed saying that the MDA telethons are dated and that Lewis wants people to pity those with muscular dystrophy.