Jerry Lewis — the longtime host of the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Labor Day telethon — will step out of his retired role with the iconic charity that revolutionized philanthropic giving in America to help introduce MDA’s revitalized brand this Friday, Jan. 29, at an event in Carnegie Hall.
Lewis, who hosted MDA’s telethon until 2011 when he last appeared as MDA National Chairman, taped a special message to the MDA community, urging continued support for MDA and the families he has championed for decades.
MDA today released a segment of Lewis’ message in which he says, “I haven’t stopped thinking of all of you … my wonderful friends and the critical work MDA does,” Lewis said. “I think it’s great that MDA has a new look and tagline. We’ve got to keep giving strength, independence and life to all the kids and adults who are fighting muscular dystrophy and related life-threatening diseases.”
On Friday, MDA will announce a five-year plan to find treatments and cures for muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases, as scientists and drug developers get closer than ever to lifesaving treatments. It also will unveil a new brand identity and consumer campaign, including a new logo and tagline. The event will be webcast on mda.org at 12:30 p.m. ET and will include appearances by NBC News’ “Today” Natalie Morales, TNT on-air personality and sportscaster Ernie Johnson, “Small Town Big Deal” host Jann Carl and Jordan Smith, season nine winner of NBC’s “The Voice.”
“Jerry Lewis’ heroic efforts on behalf of MDA families and through MDA telethons have enabled us to help millions of Americans living with muscle-debilitating diseases and make possible progress in research that was once thought unimaginable. We’re thrilled to build on our rich history and have Jerry’s support as we strengthen our mission and introduce the new MDA brand,” said MDA President and CEO Steven M. Derks.