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While the 2013 Telethon will again use MDA SHOW of STRENGTH as its title, the 2013 MDA Telethon will again change in format. This year, the show will run on Sunday, September 1, for two hours from 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. ET. The MDA also announced that this year, the MDA Show of Strength Telethon will run exclusively on the ABC Television Network.

In another break from its traditional format, the Telethon will no longer include cutaway to local station affiliates. Instead, local MDA offices will have the opportunity to host parties before the event, in order to watch see the Telethon before it airs to the public.

As always, the Telethon will include musical and dance performances and celebrity appearances. The show will also feature stories about seven individuals affected by neuromuscular disease, along with family members. For the first time, visitors to the MDA website will be able to view footage from previous shows and vote for their favorite.

In 2011, the MDA made the first significant change to the Telethon format in response to the changing nature of the television audience. Rather than the former 21 hour format, it ran during prime time television for 6 hours on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend. For the first time, aspects of social media were also included. In 2012, the Telethon was shortened again, running for three hours.

After the 2011 Telethon, the MDA announced that it had raised 61.5 million dollars. In 2010, the event raised over 58 million dollars. Overall, the Telethon has raised almost $2 billion.

Since 1966, the Muscular Dystrophy Labor Day (MDA) Telethon has been raising funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association while providing entertainment. The first MDA telethon starred comedian Jerry Lewis and ran over Labor Day weekend on a single television station in New York. It was hugely successful, and raised over 1 million dollars for the MDA. Jerry Lewis remained active with the Telethon until he retired in May, 2011.

Funds raised by the Telethon are used to support MDA services to the neuromuscular diseases community, including clinical services, research, advocacy, summer camps, public education, flu shots and more. Almost every year, the telethon has succeeded in raising more money than it did during the previous telethon. Through supporting the MDA Show of Strength, we can help to raise awareness about neuromuscular disease and funding for research and treatment.


Muscular Dystrophy Association (2013). Stars Announced for MDA Telethon this Labor Day Weekend on ABC-TV. Retrieved from http://mda.org/media/press-releases/stars-announced-mda-telethon-labor-day-weekend-abc-tv on 8/22/13.

Muscular Dystrophy Association (n.d.). MDA Labor Day Telethon History. MDA website. Retrieved from http://www.mda.org/about/telethon-history on 8/22/13.

Muscular Dystrophy Association (n.d.). MDA Prime-Time Telethon Achieves 61.5 Million. MDA website press release. Retrieved from http://mda.org/media/press-releases/mda-prime-time-telethon-achieves-615-million on 8/22/13.

Quest Staff, (2013). MDA Show of Strength Telethon Moves to ABC. Retrieved from http://quest.mda.org/article/mda-show-strength-telethon-moves-abc on 8/22/13.

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