Make a Muscle, Make a Difference

Just got back from Las Vegas where I attended a major meeting of the Muscular Dystrophy Association regarding the upcoming Telethon.  The MDA Labor Day Telethon has been an institution and an inspiration since the mid 1960’s and this year, as it transforms into a new era, it will continue to be so as it takes center stage Labor Day weekend in a new format and time.  The Telethon will take place on PHl17 Sunday night, September 4th, from  6 p.m. To Midnight.   It will no longer be on Monday, Labor Day itself.  The new time is more prime time oriented, fits into the new model of viewing and offers new opportunties. Jerry Lewis has announced his retirement from the Telethon, though he is scheduled to make a final appearance at the end of this year’s broadcast and he will remain as National Chairman of MDA.  The Las Vegas meeting took place at the South Point Hotel & Casino, site of the Telethon.  I got a chance to talk with MDA executives and Telethon producers about the new Telethon and the latest MDA developments.  National Emcee Jann Carl was among those filling us in and MDA families also reminded us how vital MDA’s funding of research and support services have been.  I spoke with MDA National Goodwill Ambassador Abbey Umali.  Abbey is all about “Make a Muscle, Make  a Difference.”   She is excited, too, because one of this year’s special guests will be Darius Rucker (Hootie and the Blowfish) and she and Darius will sing together at the Grand ‘Ol Opry.  In the 3 months ahead I’ll keep you posted on the guest list for the Telethon, the latest on MDA research, the upcoming MDA Summer Camp I’m attending and why your support for MDA makes a difference.