Kirstie Alley 's Aquathon Raises $28,000 Via World's First 24hr Twitter, Facebook, YouTube & Live Ustream Telethon for Clean Water in Africa

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Actress/Comedian and Activist Kirstie Alley and charity organizer Steve Woods raised $28,000 during Aquathon 2009, the world's first 24-hour Social Media driven telethon, in support of Play Pumps International who provide clean drinking water to children and communities in sub-Saharan African communities.

Actress/Comedian and Activist Kirstie Alley and philanthropic organizer Steve Woods made Internet history and generated $28,000 in donations for Play Pumps International, via Aquathon , the world's first 24-hour Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Ustream and 12Seconds telethon this past Saturday, July 25.

The event raised $28,000 to bring clean water to children and communities in Africa and will go to PlayPumps International, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing access to clean drinking water to millions in Africa. Aquathon 2009 donations will go towards the purchase of two PlayPumps structures, which cost $14,000 each. Please note that Aquathon donations will continue to be accepted at for the next several weeks.

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!"

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

Additionally, on-site event still images, audio and video were intermittently recorded and uploaded to YouTube and via a 3G S iPhone 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.

At then end of the night, Ustream viewers were treated to the warm, light-hearted, unpredictable and hilarious qualities of Kirstie Alley who left the Ustream audience with smiles on their faces when she decided to finish off the live broadcast reclining in bed while serenaded with a lullaby by Carlos Bertonatti.

Many of the social media platforms utilized in the event were linked together to cross-populate to exponentially increase the reach of each tweet, tweetpic, image, audio and video content piece created or broadcast, for example; Ustream populated Youtube which populated Twitter which then populated Facebook. 12seconds populated Twitter and Facebook, and so on.

Some of the key statistics and info from the event include:

  •     Social Media Platforms used: Twitter, YouTube,, Ustream, Facebook,, Twitpic, Blogspot,, Twibbon, Tweetmeme, Tweetlater, Tweetdeck, Tweetstats, Socialmention, Seesmic Desktop, Tweetie, Hootsuite, Digg, Propeller, Kirtsy, Stumbleupon, Reddit, and Widgetbox
  •     iPhone apps used:, iPhone upload to YouTube    
  •     Skype was used to enable live call-in to Kirstie
  •     The event started at 5:30am ET on the 25th and ran through 6am ET
  •     $28,000 was raised (Enough for 2 Play Pumps Water Wells)
  •     56,400 Google & Yahoo results with keywords aquathon+kirstie
  •     19,734 Ustream views
  •     9,723 twitpic views
  •     6,626 clicks to the Aquathon blog and donation were tracked
  •     6,164 YouTube channel and video views
  •     2,820 pre-event press releases picked up by Google
  •     1,001 rank at retweetrank for Aquathon
  •     346 Donations were generated ranging from $5 to $5000
  •     299 twibbon supporters
  •     260 links for Aquathon found at tweetmeme
  •     53% passion, 13% reach across social media & 17 to 1 positive sentiment at for Aquathon

Event URLS:
Aquathon Blog:
Aquathon Twitter Channel:
Aquathon Ustream Channel:
Aquathon YouTube Channel:
Aquathon Facebook Channel:
Kirstie Alley Twitter Channel:
Kirstie Alley Ustream Channel:
Kirstie Alley YouTube Channel:
Kirstie Alley Channel:
Kirstie Alley Facebook Fan Page:

About Aquathon:
Aquathon 2009 was a 24-hour online telethon that used social media and video to raise money for fresh water wells in African communities using the Play Pumps merry-go-round driven water systems. Actress/Comedian and Activist Kirstie Alley and Organizer Steve Woods hosted the event.

About Play Pumps International:
PlayPumps devices are roundabouts, or merry-go-rounds, attached to a water pump, a storage tank and a tap. When children play, the water pump provides clean drinking water to schools and communities. More than 1,300 PlayPumps water systems have been donated in South Africa, Malawi, Swaziland, Lesotho, Zambia and Mozambique. Info:

About Kirstie Alley:
Kirstie Alley is a two-time Emmy-award and Golden Globe-award wining actress, starring in such hit television shows as "Cheers," "Veronica's Closet," and "Fat Actress," as well as feature films including Look Who's Talking, Look Who's Talking Too, Look Who's Talking Now, Village of the Damned, Deconstructing Harry, For Richer or Poorer and Drop Dead Gorgeous. Kirstie was recently a spokesperson for weight loss company Jenny Craig. She is currently planning to launch her own weight loss and diet program in October. Visit the official site at, or follow Kirstie Alley on Twitter at @kirstiealley.

Jason Weinberg
(310) 601-2101


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