TUCSON, Ariz., Aug. 31, 2013 — For the first time ever, viewers tuning in to the 2013 MDA Show of Strength Telethon Sunday will be able to keep track of telethon donations through a new online tote board feature that will continuously update as the show airs on ABC stations nationwide at 9/8c.
Viewers will be able to check MDA’s website, mda.org, for regular updates on how much is being raised through the telethon as the show airs from coast to coast.
The tote will consist of generous donations made by the American public through phone, online, text and direct marketing campaigns, and contributions made by national partners who help MDA through telethon-related fundraising campaigns. The tote starts on Sunday at 9 p.m. Eastern and will go through Labor Day at midnight when the final tote will be posted online.
"The tote board is a longtime MDA telethon tradition that we are excited to now bring online for the first time in our 48-year history," said MDA President and CEO Steven M. Derks. "Supporters enjoy seeing the combined donations add up to a remarkable sum that fuels our lifesaving and life-enhancing mission. With the continued support of the American public and our partners, we hope to see the numbers on the tote board climb higher than ever so we can continue to invest in research and services for our families. Because of past support we are at a very hopeful time in the fight against muscle disease with more new drugs in development over the next five years than in the past 50 years combined."
MDA will also acknowledge donors and local partners on the website through Labor Day.
The MDA telethon is one of America’s longest-standing and beloved fundraising and entertainment events. For 48 years, 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).
As in the past, the entertainment event will raise funds and awareness to support MDA’s mission to help children and adults affected by progressive and often fatal muscle diseases.
While the telethon has consistently enjoyed robust support from some of the biggest celebrities in show business, the real stars on the telethon are the individuals and families served by MDA.
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, with Jerry Lewis as its iconic host through 2010, 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.
Visit mda.org/muscle to learn more about the 2013 MDA telethon.
The Muscular Dystrophy Association is the world’s leading nonprofit health agency dedicated to finding treatments and cures for muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other neuromuscular diseases. It does so by funding worldwide research; 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.