Coldplay, U2, Kermit, Ed Sheeran Help Raise $10M For Inaugural Red Nose Day USA
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When British rock band Coldplay unveiled their hilarious Game Of Thrones: The Musical to the world last night (May 21), it wasn't just a piece of brilliant tongue-in-cheek parody. The video was also one of the marquee attractions for Red Nose Day USA, the American kick-off of a biennial British charitable campaign that’s been going 30 years.
Thrown by nonprofit organization Comic Relief, “Red Nose Day is a campaign dedicated to raising money for children and young people living in poverty by simply having fun and making people laugh,” it states on the web site. Since the first Red Nose Day, Comic Relief has raised over £1 billion ($1.9B CAD) to help people in need around the world, according to the charity.
Anchored by a televised three-hour variety show special on NBC, the event also featured U2 performing "Song For Someone," Anna Kendricks as a reimagined gal-positive Indianna Jones, and Ed Sheeran duetting on "Rainbow Connection" with Kermit The Frog.
Hosted by Seth Meyers, David Duchovny and Jane Krakowski, the event attracted a massive list of marquee entertainers including Will Ferrell, Jennifer Aniston, Pharrell Williams, Naomi Campbell, Zac Efron and Gwyneth Paltrow to contribute to the "fun-raising" efforts.
By the end of last night's televised event Al Roker announced Red Nose USA had raised more than $10 million US ($12.3M CAD), though they're still accepting donations.
The money raised will be split between initiatives in the U.S. and internationally.
The charity partners for Red Nose Day USA include Boys & Girls Clubs of America, which provides meals and snacks that address food insecurity and offer programs to empower vulnerable youth; charity: water, which bring clean drinking water to people in developing nations; Children’s Health Fund, which provides mobile health care for homeless and low-income children and their families; Feeding America, which operate 200 food banks across America; Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which works to increase immunization in developing countries; LIFT, an organization that helps families escape poverty; Oxfam America, which works for social change to fight poverty; Save the Children, an organization that focuses on improving the lives of youth. The community-focused United Way were also partners along with The Global Fund, National Council of La Raza and National Urban League.
"Dedicated to raising money for children and young people living in poverty by simply having fun and making people laugh," the origins of Red Nose Day began in 1985 when comedians inspired by the Live Aid musical event started the Comic Relief http://www.comicrelief.com/ charity in the UK. In 1988 they began Red Nose Day, in which people are encouraged to purchase branded foam/plastic red noses from shops and supermarkets. Since 1999 the day has been accompanied by a televised special on BBC and has become so popular it borders on a national civic holiday. This year's UK event which was held on March 13 raised £78,082,988 ($126,020,184,237 Canadian).
* Samaritanmag.com is an online magazine covering the good deeds of individuals, charities and businesses.