There’s one thing that many disability advocate organizations have in common: their mission is to improve the lives of people living with disabilities.
The Muscular Dystrophy Association is no exception.
One way, in particular, that they’ve been using for nearly half a decade is the MDA Show of Strength Telethon.
History in the Making
What started as a fundraiser to raise money to help people fighting muscle disease, has grown into a special annual event that’s televised for the world to see, and participate in. The very first (official) MDA telethon happened in 1966, and has been an annual event ever since.
However, the MDA telethon originally started as the Jerry Lewis Thanksgiving Party for MDA back in the 1950s.
Each year the permanent fixture in the disabled community strives to spread disability awareness, while raising funds to further research cures for muscle disease, and assist those already living with muscle disease.
Sharing the Memories
In years past, the MDA telethon has featured live concert performances by celebrities like Celine Dion, Will.i.am, the Jackson 5, Tim McGraw, and Aretha Franklin.
In 2013, however, the concert was pre recorded to be streamed to the masses, so it could include performances by a wider range of celebrities including Darius Rucker, the Backstreet Boys, Paula Abdul, Florence Henderson, and the Jabbawockeez.
This year, the MDA Show of Strength Telethon is asking for viewer and fan participation to choose the show’s lineup. They are asking fans to vote for their most memorable telethon performance, to be replayed during this year’s event. (Voting is open here through September 2nd.)
Additionally, the telethon is asking supporters to share their own personal MDA memories of a person with muscular dystrophy who has touched their life. These should be in the form of a story, photo or video, and can be submitted online (here) through September 2nd.
To support the MDA Show of Strength telethon, make sure to tune-in to the event on ABC on Sunday. August 31!