Since 1996, when the RTL-Spendenmarathon first went on air with Wolfram Kons, over €101 million have been raised for hundreds of selected children's charities. "Over €100 million in the past 16 years is an outstanding and very special success," says Anke Schäferkordt, CEO of Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland and Chair of the “Stiftung RTL – Wir helfen Kindern” foundation. "The foundation’s continued support of charity projects for children reflects our strong commitment to society. I thank our viewers and promise you that we won’t let up in our efforts to provide help for needy children in Germany and the world." All ten major aid projects and several smaller ones can now be implemented.
Extreme athlete Joey Kelly
Every major project has a celebrity sponsor. Many international stars have donated precious personal items to the charity auction. Maite Kelly, Michael Mittermeier, Gaby Köster and Manuel Neuer also contributed the €814,000 they won on Wer wird Millionär? Prominentenspecial (Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Celebrity Special) with Günther Jauch on 17 November, which was watched by as many as 10.52 million viewers. Extreme athlete Joey Kelly walked a distance of about 16 kilometres (16 kilometres, 394 metres and 40 centimetres to be precise) underwater in 24 hours. 1,000 metres would have been enough to set a new Guinness world record.
Wolfram Kons: "We did it! Like Joey Kelly, I'm exhausted but very happy. Next year we’ll show the viewers and everyone who helped the show what became of their donations. And as always, I promise: every Cent goes to provide aid. "
21 November 2011 - RTL Television, Germany