CHICAGO, Sept. 2, 2014 — The Muscular Dystrophy Association today expressed its deep appreciation for all the donors, sponsors and artists who helped represent families fighting muscle disease over the Labor Day weekend through the star-studded MDA Show of Strength Telethon that aired Sunday night on ABC television.
“Both through the broadcast of our telethon and a record amount of online conversations, more Americans gained a compelling vision of the courage of our families overcoming difficult circumstances, as well as the generosity of our sponsors and supporters who help MDA fund the fight against muscle disease,” said Steven M. Derks, MDA President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our plan is to be great stewards of their contributions in our quest to create a world free of the harmful effects of muscle disease.”
Through the combined contributions of donations that occurred over the weekend, as well as funds raised by major sponsors recognized during the show, MDA raised $56.9 million. The funds and awareness will enable the families MDA serves to continue to attend MDA clinics, keep sending kids to MDA summer camp, and help MDA-funded scientists to push forward in the search for treatments and cures that help save and improve lives. Last year’s total was $59.6 million.
“Our families continue to be the stars of the MDA telethon and remain at the core of our mission,” Derks said. “MDA was started by families, for families. Our resolve to accelerate progress on their behalf has never been greater.”
During Sunday’s broadcast, five powerful profile stories were shared with viewers. These included:
Musical artists and celebrities also lent their support. Among them: Grammy winners Rascal Flatts and LeAnn Rimes, plus Aloe Blacc, American Authors, Bret Michaels, Fall Out Boy, Jason Derulo, Matt Nathanson, R5 and Sara Evans. Heartfelt 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, Chris Powell and Jordin Sparks.
Sponsors who appeared on the show included the 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, 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.
Visit mda.org/showofstrength to watch this year’s broadcast and 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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