Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores matched the money raised in a telethon to push the total past $1 million to help with the lead-tainted water crisis in Flint, Mich., that continues to gather international headlines.
During Tuesday's telethon hosted by Detroit television station WDIV-TV, organizers said the event drew more than 1,500 donations totaling $566,982. With Gores' match, that brought the total to $1,133,964.
The "Flint Water Crisis: 4 Our Families" telethon aired from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET by TV stations in Detroit, Flint, Lansing, Grand Rapids and Northern Michigan. The telethon benefits the Community Foundation of Greater Flint and its Flint Child Health and Development Fund.
Gores, a Flint native, is leading a private sector initiative that has pledged at least $10 million to a broad range of short- and long-term initiatives to help address the crisis in Flint after the drinking water was contaminated with lead.
Flint's water has forced the city's residents to use bottled water for drinking, bathing and cooking. A federal state of emergency has been declared. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has apologized to Flint residents for the state's failures after months of downplaying concerns, including warnings from researchers about high lead levels in both the drinking water and in the blood of Flint children.