Hip-hop star Jason Derulo performed his new hit single “Trumpets” during the 2014 MDA Show of Strength Telethon on Aug. 31 on ABC stations nationwide. The annual telethon raises funds and awareness to support the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s mission to save and improve the lives of children and adults fighting muscle disease.
CHICAGO, August 31, 2014 — The Muscular Dystrophy Association today announced that as of 11 p.m. Pacific Time Sunday it had received $52.3 million in donations spurred by the MDA Show of Strength Telethon. The organization dedicated to saving and improving the lives of Americans fighting muscle disease is still accepting telethon-designated donations through midnight on Labor Day. The total will be announced on Tuesday, Sept. 2.
The final amount consists of generous donations made by the American public through phone, online and texts, plus contributions made by its major sponsors who help MDA through their own fundraising campaigns leading into the telethon.
“It’s inspiring to see so many celebrities, musical artists and athletes join forces to help in our fight against muscle disease,” said MDA President and CEO Steven M. Derks. “We owe them our profound thanks, as we do our national and local sponsor partners, who care so deeply about the children and adults MDA serves. Of course, the encouraging progress we’re seeing in our quest for treatments and cures would not be possible without these sponsors’ as well as America’s generous support.”
Highlights of the annual telethon included 2014 National Goodwill Ambassador Reagan Imhoff of New Berlin, Wis., opening the show alongside Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz. Wentz joined Reagan, 9, on the telethon stage after the band’s performance of their new single “Young Volcanoes,” at the top of the 2014 telethon.
Grammy-winner and reality star LeAnn Rimes closed the show with her single “Give,” honoring MDA’s 60-year partnership with the International Association of Fire Fighters.
Additional performances during the nationally broadcast show included: American Authors singing their hit single “Best Day of My Life"; R&B artist Aloe Blacc performing "The Man"; platinum-selling artist Jason Derulo performing his new Gold single "Trumbets" from his album "Talk Dirty"; pop rock sensation R5 singing “(I Can’t) Forget About You"; Grammy-winning trio Rascal Flatts performing “My Wish"; country singer-songwriter Sara Evans performing her hit “A Little Bit Stronger"; folk and rock singer-songwriter Matt Nathanson performing his new single “Kinks Shirt"; and rock and reality star Bret Michaels performing the American classic "Sweet Home Alabama.”
Introductions and appeals came from: Laila Ali; Tom Bergeron; ABC’s Dr. Richard Besser; Jann Carl; Charles Esten; Terry Fator; Kevin Frazier; Josh Groban; Ludacris; Susan Lucci; Kesha; Alyssa Milano; Nancy O’Dell; Victor Ortiz; Brad Paisley; Chris Powell; Jordin Sparks; and Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz.
While the telethon has consistently enjoyed robust support from some of the biggest celebrities in show business, MDA says the real stars on the broadcast are the individuals and families served by MDA, including five families who shared their stories and gave the public a glimpse of what it means to live with a muscle disease during the 2014 broadcast.
The complete list of family profiles includes:
MDA.org and Social Media
For the first time, the public was invited to help shape the content of the show by voting on a variety of “Memorable Moments” in MDA telethon history. The top three videos featured on the show included the Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin 1976 reunion brokered by Frank Sinatra, Celine Dion’s 2006 performance of “Summertime” and Lewis and Ed McMahon’s 2000 duet of “Without You.”
Besides voting on the Memorable Moments, viewers were encouraged to make online donations and sign on to be an MDA “Muscle Maker” for $11 a month.
On social media the audience was encouraged to check out and share exclusive behind-the-scenes footage from the telethon with celebrities and “Stories of Strength” featuring MDA families. Sunday’s social media momentum included tens of thousands of tweets and Facebook shares buoyed by fans and social media followers tied to the telethon artists and celebrities appearing on the show. #MDAtelethon trended on social media throughout the night.
About MDA Show of Strength Telethon
MDA’s first Labor Day weekend telethon was broadcast in 1966 on a single New York station and has become the most successful fundraising event in the history of television. The show, originally hosted by iconic star Jerry Lewis and with help from a legion of top celebrities and entertainers, has raised millions each year to provide life-enhancing support and services for the families MDA serves. The real stars on the broadcast have always been the MDA families who have graciously agreed to open their homes and hearts to America and tell their stories of strength. This year marks the 49th annual MDA telethon.
In addition to funds contributed by the public, substantial support also comes from MDA’s family of national sponsors, whose work throughout the year on behalf of MDA was recognized on the telethon. Among the sponsors: International Association of Fire Fighters, CITGO Petroleum Corp., Lowe’s, Harley-Davidson Motor Co., Jiffy Lube International, National Association of Letter Carriers, The Safeway Foundation, 7-Eleven, Dr Pepper Snapple Group/7UP, Acosta and Burger King.
IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger joined Entertainment Tonight co-host, and longtime MDA friend, Nancy O’Dell, onstage at the 2014 MDA Show of Strength Telethon on Sunday night to announce a record-breaking $28 million total funds raised this year to help MDA save and improve the lives of people fighting muscle disease. MDA and the IAFF celebrate 60 years of a partnership in 2014.
IAFF, which has been raising funds for MDA since 1954 through community events such as the streetside “Fill the Boot” campaign, amassed a fundraising total of $28 million for this year’s telethon. Watch IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger make the record-breaking announcement on the telethon.
Funds raised by MDA telethons also have contributed to the organization’s worldwide research program. Today, through current clinical trials, there is growing excitement that new lifesaving treatments and discoveries are on the horizon for many of the disorders MDA is dedicated to defeating, including Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Visit mda.org/showofstrength to learn more about the 2014 MDA telethon.
The Muscular Dystrophy Association is the world’s leading nonprofit health agency dedicated to saving and improving the lives of anyone with muscle disease, including muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other neuromuscular diseases. It does so by funding worldwide research to find treatments and cures; by providing comprehensive health care services and support to MDA families nationwide; and by rallying communities to fight back through advocacy, fundraising and local engagement. Visit mda.org and follow us at facebook.com/MDAnational and @MDAnews. Learn more about MDA's mission by watching this video.
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