The event raised $28,000 to bring clean water to children and communities in Africa. The money will go to PlayPumps International, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing access to clean drinking water to millions in Africa.

Actress/comedian and activist Kirstie Alley and charity organizer Steve Woods raised $28,000 during Aquathon 2009, which is stated to be the world’s first 24-hour social media driven telethon. It was organized in support of PlayPumps International that provides clean drinking water to children and communities in sub-Saharan African communities.

Kirstie Alley said, “I couldn’t be happier that my cool peeps donated over $28,000 dollars to benefit PlayPumps. Because of them, thousands of lives will be saved and the quality of their lives will skyrocket. African children are smiling at us today. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!”

The program used Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Live Ustream telethon for clean water in Africa. Those who watched, tweeted, or donated to Aquathon were able to watch Kirstie Alley and/or co-host Steve Woods who sometimes appeared picture in picture live at Ustream, while following Kirstie’s tweets at Twitter. There was also live entertainment throughout the event provided by singer/songwriter Carlos Bertonatti.

Also, on-site event still images, audio, and video were intermittently recorded and uploaded to YouTube and via iPhone 3G S for additional audience engagement and interactivity.

And, to create a traditional telethon-like call-in experience, the Aquathon audience was able to call an actual telephone number to speak with Kirstie during the live Ustream broadcast.

Aquathon 2009 donations will go towards the purchase of two PlayPumps structures, which cost $14,000 each.


About Rakesh Raman

Have extensive editorial, content management, and integrated communications experience and have worked as a senior tech journalist, analyst, and columnist with different newspapers, magazines, and Web/online properties in India.

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