NEW YORK (AP) – A fund-raising telethon that featured more than 30 current and former NFL players raised $5 million for the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund in about 61/2 hours.

Monday night’s telethon was part of the NFL’s “Hurricane Relief Weekend” and coincided with a special “Monday Night Football” doubleheader on ABC and ESPN. Players such as John Elway, Donovan McNabb, Art Shell and Frank Gifford took turns, 12 at a time, spending between 75 minutes to 2 hours answering telephones and taking donations.

“We appreciate the tremendous response of our fans and everything that our teams and players are doing to support the relief effort,” NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said. “We are going to stay at it because all of America is going to have to stay at it.”

NFL teams and relief organizations have raised approximately $4 million from fans at stadiums for Hurricane Katrina relief, the league said, bringing the total generated by the NFL to $21 million.

AP-ES-09-20-05 1752EDT

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