This year’s MDA Labor Day Telethon raised $55,122,055 on September 1.
In 2013, another MDA tradition comes to an end as the telethon moves from its usual “Love Network” of local stations to a major network in primetime.
This year’s MDA Labor Day Telethon raised $55,122,055 on September 1
The historic contract with the ABC television network means that the MDA Show of Strength aired for on a single network in its entirety nationwide.
A bevy of star appearances and celebrity presenters offered their time and talents to the MDA Labor Day Telethon this year.
They included Ryan Seacrest, Backstreet Boys, country stars Luke Bryan, Darius Rucker and Lee Ann Womack, Glee star Matthew Morrison, Enrique Iglesias, Paula Abdul, and teenage pop sensation Austin Mahone.
The MDA announced a total of $58,706,015 on September 30, 2012, the year when the annual Labor Day Telethon became MDA Show of Strength.
The newly-branded MDA Show of Strength, which aired on September 2, 2012, on 150 stations nationwide, featured the commitment, dedication and support of viewers from across the nation who joined forces with volunteers, celebrities and entertainers, and national and local sponsors to show their strength for one common goal – to win the fight against muscle diseases.
The MDA announced a total of $58,706,015 on September 30, 2012, the year when the annual Labor Day Telethon became MDA Show of Strength
“The incredible support of our national partners and their loyal customers, plus the generosity of the American public who called, texted or went online to donate, will help MDA provide care through our network of 200 clinics in the U.S., as well as help to send kids to MDA summer camps at no cost to their families,” said MDA Interim President and Medical Director Valerie Cwik, M.D.
“Their support will make a lifesaving difference in MDA’s worldwide research program, which this year will invest almost $36 million in vital projects.”
The signature Labor Day weekend show continued as the centerpiece of the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s yearlong fundraising efforts. In addition to superstar performers such as will.i.am, Carrie Underwood, Pitbull and Carole King, the three-hour telecast featured uplifting stories of strength offering a window into the lives of individuals and families affected by muscle diseases; inspiring messages from many corporate sponsors, organizations and national brands; and heartfelt appeals from MDA ambassadors and celebrities.
No Jerry Lewis clip will be included in Telethon Memory in Sunday’s MDA Show of Strength (8 p.m.-10 p.m., on ABC).
The MDA show’s rundown lists assorted highlight clips from telethons long ago from Ray Charles, Sammy Davis Jr., Carole King, Pitbull and Will.i.am.
Jerry Lewis is nowhere to be found on the show’s rundown, and MDA spokeswoman Roxan Olivas confirmed Monday that the comedian would not be featured in any clip on the TV show. However, Jerry Lewis will be mentioned on the air by Jann Carl, and the MDA has posted three memorable moments of Lewis on its website. But still, how the clip of Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin on the 1976 show (with Frank Sinatra acting as a highly energized mediator) has not made the national fundraising telecast is sort of inexplicable.
No Jerry Lewis clip will be included in Telethon Memory in Sunday’s MDA Show of Strength
Roxan Olivas did provide a clear message of gratitude in a follow-up e-mail on Monday, saying: “It’s a time of great hope and progress in research, as treatments are on the horizon for many of the muscle diseases we cover in our program; none of this would be possible without the remarkable efforts of Jerry Lewis.”
That’s the strongest statement of recognition of Jerry Lewis by any member of the MDA since he left the organization in 2010.
Other artists featured in the here-and-now (and in taped performances) are the reassembled Backstreet Boys, Lee Ann Womack, Darius Rucker, Kenny Loggins, Luke Bryan and (from the Luxor in Fabulous Las Vegas!) Jabbawockeez.
For those yearning for a tote-board countdown for the money raised, one will be posted on the MDA website.