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LI's John Tesh sets Facebook event to raise money, supplies for hospital workers

John Tesh will moderate a Facebook fundraiser to

John Tesh will moderate a Facebook fundraiser to benefit hospitals across the nation, including those in the Northwell Health system, on Friday. Credit: Getty Images / D Dipasupil

John Tesh — the Garden City native, soft-rock keyboardist, radio host, songwriter, and much else (including, yes, once a Klingon on "Star Trek: The Next Generation" back when he was co-host of "Entertainment Tonight") — is joining in the fight to help front line hospital workers on Long Island.

Tesh, 67, and his wife, actress Connie Sellecca, will moderate a Facebook Live marathon Friday to raise money and supplies for health care staff at 50 hospitals across the country, including the 23 in the tristate area run by the New Hyde Park-based Northwell Health system. 

The six-hour fundraiser begins at 3 p.m. Friday on www.Facebook.com/johntesh.

In a phone interview Thursday, Tesh said the idea was, "We'd raise some money and food [but] my wife, who is the voice of reason, said why not call the hospitals and find out what they want." A brief survey turned up the obvious answer — money — and a surprise one, too.

Tesh said that nurses were also seeking iPads so that stricken patients could interact with family members instead of on iPhones. Tesh said one nurse explained, "they had to be end-of-life counselors using their own iPhones, but the screens were too small so nurses had to go to Best Buy to get 20 for patients to communicate with their families."

Tesh — who along with Sellecca and her son, Gib Gerard, also host a faith-based daily syndicated radio program (heard locally on WKJY / 98.3 FM) called "Intelligence For Your Life and Intelligence For Your Health" — said the livestreamed Facebook marathon will include interviews with health experts "but not anything about how to avoid the virus," he said. "Instead ... [the fundraiser will focus on] how to cope, and how your immune system is connected to your belief system, and connected to worry." 

Julie Robinson-Tingue, senior director of strategic communications for Northwell Health Foundation, said Thursday, "We don't know specifically what we'll receive [from the livestreamed fundraiser] but we told them what we need most and that allows us to pivot to address the needs of our front liners is monetary donations ... to our COVID-19 emergency fund."

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