MDA Ends Their Famous Telethon


All good things, as they say, eventually come to an end. The Muscular Dystrophy Association has officially announced they are ending their annual MDA telethon nearly half a decade after it began.

The reasoning?

Telethons just aren’t very popular anymore (unless you count the plotline of 2011’s The Muppets movie). The way awareness is raised and donations are made is much different than it was in the 60’s when the telethon began.

Last year’s telethon, known as the Show of Strength, raised approx. $57 million. By comparison, the internet phenomenon known as the ALS Ice Bucket Challenged raised over $100 million in the span of a month. Though it’s hard to get an exact figure, it’s safe to assume the ice bucket challenge also reached a wider audience than the 2014 telethon.

What exactly the MDA has planned for future fundraising campaigns remains to be seen.  Whatever it is, you can expect to see us talking about it here on the Rollx Vans blog.

About the MDA Telethon

Beginning in 1966, the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon was a huge televised event with a simple goal: raise awareness and funding for muscular dystrophy.   The telethon lasted 21 and a half hours. With live music, celebrity appearances, and constant laughs provided by Jerry Lewis himself, the telethon proved to be a smashing success, raising over $1 million.

This format would continue until after the 2010 show when the program underwent some serious changes.

For the 2011 telethon, the program was trimmed back to 6 hours. Another big changed involved the departure of host Jerry Lewis. In his absence, the program was renamed MDA Labor Day Telethon.

The next year, it would be changed again. Under the name Show of Strength, the program was cut back again to 3 hours.

The MDA Show of Strength lasted for three years.

During its entire run, the MDA telethon raised over $2 billion.

About the Muscular Dystrophy Association

The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising funding and awareness for muscular dystrophy and driving medical research forward for treatments and hopefully one day, a cure.

Rollx Vans, a leading distributor of wheelchair vans, partners with organizations such as MDA in an effort to help those affected by mobility-related conditions.

Do you have a favorite moment from the MDA telethon?  Share it below!

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