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Hofstra telethon honoring slain student Max Kolb airs last show

Laura Fu started Hofstra University's The Friends of

Laura Fu started Hofstra University's The Friends of Max Kolb telethon the year after her close friend, a film student, was murdered by another student in 2001. Above, Fu stands inside a control room at the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication at Hofstra in Hempstead on Sunday, April 30, 2017. Photo Credit: Steve Pfost

The Friends of Max Kolb telethon, an annual showcase produced by Hofstra University students in memory of a student who was murdered 16 years ago, aired for the sixteenth and final time Sunday night.

The telethon was created in memory of 20-year-old Max Kolb, a Hofstra film student who in 2001 was stabbed to death by another student in a Hicksville motel. Laura Fu, a 2002 Hofstra graduate and a close friend of Kolb’s, started the telethon in 2002 to raise money for the school’s film students.

“The fact that the telethon has helped other aspiring filmmakers makes it feel like maybe Max is doing what he always wanted to do through them somehow,” said Fu, 37, who lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and flew to Long Island to attend this year’s broadcast.

The telethon will “sunset” with the retirement of Peter Gershon, an associate professor who has been involved in the production since its inception, Fu said. Hofstra will continue to oversee an endowed scholarship established in Kolb’s name, according to a news release.

Over the years, the student-run telethon has raised about $72,000 for more than 65 students to help offset the cost of their junior or senior projects, according to the release.

This year’s 90-minute show kicked off at 9 p.m. and was to feature five bands, a stand-up comedian and a dance troupe, according to telethon producer Salvatore Guardino.

Items up for auction included tickets to the Governors Ball Music Festival, “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” and “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” as well as gift certificates to Applebee’s and Cozymel’s, said Guardino, a senior majoring in television and business.

“Everybody who has put it on is incredibly proud of the money we’ve been able to raise for film students who are trying to create their art,” Guardino said. “Hopefully we can end things on a high note.”

Viewers pledged by calling 516-463-1200 beginning at 9 p.m. Donations also can be made online at maxkolbtelethon.com.

The telethon aired live on Hofstra TV channel 32.2 and online at maxkolbtelethon.com and watch.heatnetwork.tv.

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