2014 MDA Show of Strength Telethon and Stand Up to Cancer lineups

Jeff Pfeiffer

Recently, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has been a buzz on social media (you’ve probably seen some celebrities doing it, and possibly even your own friends and family), and along with its entertainment value, it has seemed to achieve its main goal of creating at least some increased awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and, of this writing, has collected donations amounting to over $40 million. Hopefully, people’s philanthropic moods will continue, because on the heels of this, two more established television events will be returning with their own efforts to increase awareness of, and gain monetary collections toward the fight of, other dreaded diseases. During the week of Labor Day, the 2014 MDA Show of Strength Telethon and Stand Up to Cancer 2014 will be airing.


2014 MDA Show of Strength Telethon
Also known to certain generations as the “Jerry Lewis Telethon,” after the longtime former host of the event, the MDA Show of Strength Telethon has been shortened over the past few years. Once airing over the entire Labor Day weekend, the telethon is now condensed into a single two-hour presentation. The 2014 MDA Show of Strength Telethon airs Aug. 31 at 9pm ET on ABC. This is the 49th year for the fundraising event that focuses on saving and improving the lives of people fighting muscle disease.

As in past years, celebrities will play a big part in the broadcast. This year’s MDA Show of Strength Telethon will feature performances from Rascal Flatts and LeAnn Rimes, plus Aloe Blacc, American Authors, Bret Michaels, Fall Out Boy, Jason Derulo, Matt Nathanson, R5 and Sara Evans. Celebrity presenters during the telethon will include Alyssa Milano, Brad Paisley, Charles Esten, Chris Powell, Jann Carl, Jordin Sparks, Josh Groban, Kesha, Kevin Frazier, Laila Ali, Ludacris, Nancy O’Dell, Pete Wentz, ABC’s Dr. Richard Besser, Susan Lucci, Terry Fator, Tom Bergeron and Victor Ortiz.

Beside the star power, the telethon continues its tradition of focusing on the real stars, the people and families affected by muscle disease. This year’s family profiles include the following, from an ABC release:

•  JoeJoe and Dominik Stoop, two energetic brothers, ages 5 and 3 respectively, from Los Angeles who are living with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA)
•  Torrance Johnson, an outgoing and charismatic 8-year-old from Canton, Mich., also affected by SMA
•  13-year-old football fanatic Kasey Bennett of Houston who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD)
•  Kate Pecora, 15, a mature young lady from North Reading, Mass., living with SMA and taking part in a promising new clinical trial
•  Eric Von Schaumburg, 31, from Chicago, who is battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) with a “take no prisoners” attitude, and help from his loving family and girlfriend Lindsay.

The website mda.org/showofstrength will feature an online telethon tote board keeping track of all donations associated with the televised fundraiser, an area to donate, an area to submit your favorite MDA Telethon memory, and more.

The 2014 MDA Show of Strength Telethon airs Aug. 31 at 9pm ET on ABC.

stand-up-to-cancer-logoStand Up to Cancer 2014
This live, one-hour fundraising event returns for its fourth installment. Along with performances by, and appearances from celebrities, Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C) also details stories of progress being made by SU2C-funded cancer research. According to a release, a goal of the program is to “continue to build public support to accelerate the pace of groundbreaking translational research that can get new therapies to patients quickly to save lives and make cancer patients long-term cancer survivors.”

Stand Up to Cancer 2014 will air Sept. 5 at 8pm ET, on several broadcast and cable networks: ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, ABC Family, American Forces Network, Bravo, Cooking Channel, Discovery Fit & Health, E!, Encore, Encore Espanol, EPIX, ESPNEWS, FOX Sports 2, FXM, HBO, HBO Latino, ION Television, LMN, Logo TV, MLB Network, National Geographic Channel, Oxygen, Palladia, Pivot, SHOWTIME, Smithsonian Channel, Starz, TNT and VH1. The special will also stream on Hulu and Yahoo.

(For the first time, there will be a Canadian version of the 2014 telecast presenting Canada-specific content, airing simultaneously on all four major English-language Canadian networks: CBC, City, CTV and Global. This telecast will include images from the concurrent live Stand Up to Cancer Canada event in Toronto.)

Currently announced performances at Stand Up to Cancer 2014 include The Who, Jennifer Hudson, Lupe Fiasco & Common, Ariana Grande and Dave Matthews. Currently announced celebrities to appear include Gwyneth Paltrow, Reese Witherspoon, Pierce Brosnan, Jennifer Aniston, Halle Berry, Jon Hamm, Kiefer Sutherland, Ben Stiller, Will Ferrell, Mark Harmon, Rob Lowe, Danny McBride, Eric Stonestreet, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Tony Hale, Dane Cook, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Marg Helgenberger, Matt Passmore, Rob Riggle, Italia Ricci and Bree Turner.

UPDATE 9/3/14: Celebrities added to the list of Stand Up to Cancer 2014 appearances are: Robert Downey Jr., Melissa McCarthy, Steve Carell, Sofia Vergara, Ben Falcone, Kevin Bacon, Anna Kendrick, Tony Goldwyn, Dave Grohl, Hailee Steinfeld, Josh Gad, Giada De Laurentiis, Jaime King, Mira Sorvino, Joe Manganiello, Jordana Brewster, Alison Sweeney, Amanda de Cadenet, Charlie Wilson, and Diem Brown.

For more information, visit standup2cancer.org, werecallingyou.org and/or facebook.com/su2c.

Stand Up to Cancer 2014 airs Sept. 5 at 8pm ET on various networks.