Live from Las Vegas: Battle Against ALS Takes Center Stage

by Alyssa Quintero on Mon, 2008-09-01 09:16

For more than 40 years, Jerry Lewis has orchestrated a great American tradition — the MDA Labor Day Telethon — dedicated to bringing help and hope to people coping with progressive muscle diseases. The 21½-hour show will shine a bright light on the battle against ALS.

The 43rd Telethon — MDA’s largest annual fundraiser for its research, services and information programs — will reach some 40 million viewers nationwide and many more worldwide via streaming video on the Internet (mda.org).

MDA ALS Division Co-Chairpersons Augie and Lynne Nieto of Corona del Mar, Calif., return this year for their third consecutive appearance on the national show. Fitness pioneer and entrepreneur Augie Nieto, 50, learned he has ALS in March 2005. He and Lynne are the driving force behind Augie’s Quest, MDA’s aggressive ALS research initiative.

The Nietos work year-round raising public awareness of ALS.

Jerry Lewis with Lynne and Augie Nieto
Jerry Lewis with Lynne and Augie Nieto

Rounding out the show is a top-notch lineup of entertainment and celebrity co-hosts, including Telethon anchor Ed McMahon, Tom Bergeron (“Dancing with the Stars”), Jann Carl (“Entertainment Tonight”), Alison Sweeney (“Days of Our Lives” and “The Biggest Loser”), comedian Norm Crosby, and award-winning vocalists Billy Gilman and Ace Young. Also co-hosting is Nancy O’Dell (“Access Hollywood”), whose mother died of ALS earlier this year.

In addition to the national broadcast, people with ALS also will be profiled each hour on local Telethon segments, bringing home the message that ALS can strike anyone, anywhere.

The national Telethon broadcast begins at 9 p.m. EDT, Sunday, Aug. 31. To find your local Telethon station, visit als-mda.org, and click on “Telethon.”

Alyssa Quintero
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