The South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa in Las Vegas again will be center stage this year – and with an entirely new eye-opening look – as the 2010 Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon returns on Labor Day weekend, Sept. 5 and 6.
“We are so pleased to be the host hotel of the national broadcast of the 2010 Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon for the fifth straight year,’’ said Ryan Growney, South Point’s general manager. “The energy the Telethon brings to the South Point is felt by everyone who enters the property, and it makes us very proud to be affiliated with such a worthwhile cause.’’
The Telethon raises public awareness of MDA’s battle against muscular dystrophy and related diseases. Pledges and donations from Telethon viewers support MDA’s programs of worldwide scientific research, medical care and support services for individuals and families affected by any of the more than 40 neuromuscular diseases in its program.
MDA President & CEO Gerald C. Weinberg, executive producer for the Telethon, said selecting the South Point as the Telethon venue for the fifth year in a row was an easy decision. “Our whole Telethon production and staffing team really feels welcome at the South Point,” Weinberg noted. “Michael Gaughan [South Point proprietor] makes it very clear that he and his employees are solidly behind MDA’s lifesaving mission.”
The star-studded show is expected to be watched by nearly 40 million viewers in the United States and Canada via the more than 170 television and cable stations comprised by the MDA “Love Network.’’ Millions more worldwide will see the show as live streaming video hosted by RealNetworks at mda.org.
Weinberg said, “Major changes are planned for this year’s Telethon. From an entirely new set by award-winning designers John Shaffner and Joe Stewart, to exciting production numbers by “So You Think You Can Dance” choreographer and guest judge Tyce Diorio, to live remotes, and themed segments, the 2010 Telethon is going to be truly outstanding.”
Commenting on the new Telethon set, Growney said, “The look is terrific and the crew is always so professional and fantastic.’’
Entertainment icon and perennial Telethon star Jerry Lewis will be joined by veteran Telethon Co-hosts Alison Sweeney (“Biggest Loser” host and “Days of Our Lives” star); Nancy O’Dell (Emmy-winning entertainment personality, author and entrepreneur); and Jann Carl (independent producer and Emmy-winning entertainment journalist).
Special guest hosts Nigel Lythgoe (executive producer of “American Idol” and co-creator, executive producer and judge for “So You Think You Can Dance”); dramatic actor and comedian Richard Belzer (“Law & Order”); Ace Young, Grammy-nominated songwriter and star of Broadway; actor Brandon Barash (“General Hospital” star); and actor/comedian John Pinette will bring their talents to the Telethon stage to help welcome and introduce some 65 outstanding performers, plus notable families served by MDA. Together, these generous volunteers will galvanize public support for the Association’s lifesaving mission.
The Telethon broadcast will begin at 9 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept. 5, and conclude at 6:30 p.m. ET on Monday, Sept. 6. Viewers should check local listings for Telethon air times in their regions.
Social media followers of MDA’s Twitter, Facebook and YouTube sites will be treated to a behind-the-scenes look at the show during the broadcast.
MDA is the nonprofit health agency dedicated to curing muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases by funding worldwide research. The Association also provides comprehensive health care and support services, advocacy and education.
MDA is the first nonprofit organization to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Medical Association (“for significant and lasting contributions to the health and welfare of humanity’’). For more information, go to: mda.org.