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Muscular Dystrophy Association Announces Its Inaugural MDA Takes Vegas Stream-a-thon Labor Day Weekend

Eight-Hour Stream-a-thon Brings Together the Power of Las Vegas, Gaming and MDA Communities on September 4 from 4:00 p.m. to midnight ET

Event Features Top Gamers Alpharad and Terroriser As Well As Special Guests including Nyheim Hines, Hosted by MDA Let's Play Host Beaniez

NEW YORK, NY – August 26, 2021 – The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), long known for its innovative approach to fundraising that changed the course of action for many nonprofits, launched its first-ever telethon over five decades ago. Building on MDA's legacy in Las Vegas, the organization is recapturing its Labor Day prominence with the MDA Takes Vegas event, which will harness the power of gaming and streaming, upping the stakes with a must-see, must-play production from Las Vegas on September 4 from 4:00 p.m. to midnight ET.

The event will be streamed live on Twitch.tv/mda_letsplay, and fans are invited to view the live gameplay and donate through Crowd Control to affect the game. Follow @MDALetsPlay on Twitter to stay informed and visit mda.org/letsplay for more information. The event will originate from the HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas at the Luxor Hotel and Casino and will deliver entertaining gaming and streaming with eight hours of competitions, giveaways and celebrity and surprise guest appearances.

Donations may also be made directly to MDA at mda.org/vegas.

L to R: Alpharad, Nyheim Hines, Terroriser will be lead an all-star gaming event entitled MDA Takes Vegas, a stream-a-thon on September 4 from 4pm to midnight ET.
L to R: Alpharad, Nyheim Hines, Terroriser will be lead an all-star gaming event entitled MDA Takes Vegas, a stream-a-thon on September 4 from 4pm to midnight ET.

Building on its innovative fundraising roots, MDA brings together its heritage with exciting new gaming platforms that are core to the MDA community. Gaming is a platform where everyone can play and participate.

"Twitch is the platform where we can reach and engage with a new generation who wants to contribute to our mission. We're excited to tap into the philanthropic spirit of the gaming community and amplify our message of supporting people living with muscular dystrophy, ALS and related neuromuscular diseases," said Kristine Welker, Chief of Staff, MDA. "From stage to stream, we are innovating to further our mission. Through our MDA Let's Play events, we've seen not only that gaming is a great equalizer for people with disabilities, but how supportive and giving the gaming community can be."

Special guest Nyheim Hines, NFL Indianapolis Colts running back and MDA 2021 National Spokesperson, is among many participants in the event. Hines, whose mother lives with limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD), is joining families who live with muscular dystrophy, ALS and related neuromuscular diseases to raise awareness and funds for the mission to fund research, care and advocacy.

"I've had so much fun gaming with the MDA Let's Play community this year, and my commitment to this cause is personal. My family lives with muscular dystrophy and we want to fundraise as much as we can for breakthrough research and care for all of our families. I'm excited for this and the opportunity to raise awareness with some of the world's top gamers! This is going to be extremely fun," said Nyheim Hines, NFL running back for the Indianapolis Colts.

Joining Hines are hosts and internationally renowned gamers Alpharad and Terroriser and MDA Let's Play host Beaniez, at the helm. The stream-a-thon will also feature guest players from the Las Vegas Aviators baseball team, former Raiders team players Anttaj ‘Taj' Hawthorne and Stuart Schweigert, members of the International Association of Fire Fighters, Twitch creators and 12-year-old MDA National Ambassador Ethan LyBrand.

"I can't wait for September 4 and the opportunity to play and raise awareness for the MDA community! MDA's commitment to gaming as a way to support their mission to enhance research, while providing incredible care for families, will resonate with the gaming community," said Jacob ‘Alpharad' Rabon. "The event is going to give my community direct opportunities to mess with my game in the way they've always wanted to. And of course there will be giveaways, lots of surprises along the Pokémon run, and I'm even bringing a special guest who will add even more energy to this amazing event."

"We are grateful for the support of Carnival Corporation and BettorView CEO, Seth Schorr, as well as our long-standing partners, the International Association of Fire Fighters, to help drive fundraising," said Welker. "We are also extremely appreciative that the Mayor of Las Vegas, Carolyn Goodman and Nevada's Governor Steve Sisolak have demonstrated such strong support of this event."

The MDA Takes Vegas stream-a-thon supports MDA's mission of empowering people living with neuromuscular diseases to achieve their full potential. Funds raised from the stream-a-thon will go directly to MDA to support the important work that is being done to advance life-changing services including funding research worldwide and shared freely, over 150 MDA Care Centers at the nation's top medical institutions, professional and community education, and access through advocacy for children and adults -- including the MDA Summer Camp provided at no cost to families, and the year-round online gaming community, MDA Let's Play.

About the Muscular Dystrophy Association

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For 70 years, the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) has been committed to transforming the lives of people living with muscular dystrophy, ALS, and related neuromuscular diseases. We do this through innovations in science and innovations in care. As the largest source of funding for neuromuscular disease research outside of the federal government, MDA has committed more than $1 billion since our inception to accelerate the discovery of therapies and cures. Research we have supported is directly linked to life-changing therapies across multiple neuromuscular diseases. MDA's MOVR is the first and only data hub that aggregates clinical, genetic, and patient-reported data for multiple neuromuscular diseases to improve health outcomes and accelerate drug development. MDA supports the largest network of multidisciplinary clinics providing best-in-class care at more than 150 of the nation's top medical institutions. Our Resource Center serves the community with one-on-one specialized support, and we offer educational conferences, events, and materials for families and healthcare providers. MDA Advocacy supports equal access for our community, and each year thousands of children and young adults learn vital life skills and gain independence at summer camp and through recreational programs, at no cost to families. During the COVID-19 pandemic, MDA continues to produce virtual events and programming to support our community when in-person events and activities are not possible. MDA’s COVID-19 guidelines and virtual events are posted at mda.org/COVID19. For more information, visit mda.org.