Red Nose Day comes to the USA

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Live comedy TV special raises funds for Gavi, garners support for immunisation

Red Nose Day 2015

Natasha Bilimoria, Director of U.S. Strategy for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and Rick Scott, Red Nose Day.
Credit: Gavi/2015/E. Hockstein.

Washington, DC, 20 May 2015 – The popular UK telethon Red Nose Day – which has raised millions for children’s immunisation over the past three years – is making its debut in the United States this week, with popular comedians, sports personalities, TV and movie stars, and musicians donning toy red noses nationwide. Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is among the 12 charity partners.

Red Nose Day’s inaugural U.S. show will air on NBC from 8 pm-11 pm on Thursday 21 May and highlight the importance of global immunisation. The telecast will include performances by Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, Will Ferrell, John Legend, Reese Witherspoon and many other stars. Money raised for Red Nose Day USA will be used to fund programmes that address the immediate needs of children and young people living in poverty in the US and around the globe – including for the purchase of life-saving vaccines through Gavi.

The event is sponsored by Comic Relief, which has been a strong partner of Gavi since 2012. To date, Comic Relief has raised US$ 21 million for Gavi – matched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – and significantly increased visibility with the British public for global immunisation. Overall, Comic Relief has raised more than US$ 1 billion for its charity partners.

US public excitement has been building through web videos, billboards, TV commercials and news interviews. Americans are helping support Red Nose Day USA by purchasing toy red noses for US$ 1 each.

Red noses on Capitol Hill

Red Nose Day 2015

Rick Scott, Red Nose Day and Rep. Nita Lowey (D- New York). Credit: Gavi/2015/E. Hockstein.

To encourage support for Red Nose Day USA, Gavi and four other international Red Nose Day USA charity partners – charity:water; the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; Oxfam; and Save the Children - hosted a reception at the US Capitol on Tuesday. Members of Congress emphasised the important work of the US government in championing global health and development.

“It is important to deal with hunger, kids living in poverty and all that you do” said Representative Ander Crenshaw.

“It is great to see so many friends advocating for the right causes, always on the right side, for health and US development programmes around the world. This is vital. Advocating on behalf of the poor, sick, hungry and vulnerable,” said Representative Nita Lowey.

“It shows our investment in global health is absolutely paying off,” she said in reference to huge drops in child morbidity and mortality.

“The US Government has been an incredibly strong leader in support of global health and development for children,” said Natasha Bilimoria, Director of US Strategy for Gavi. “Its support has been bipartisan and unflagging.”

Red Nose Day 2015

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Florida) and Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-Florida). Credit: Gavi/2015/E. Hockstein.

“We are planning an extraordinary event that, we hope, will make a massive difference to the lives of millions of children and young people living in poverty in the United States and internationally.”​ added Rick Scott, Vice President for Charity and Logistics for Red Nose Day USA.

“The money raised during Red Nose Day USA has the potential to change millions of lives for the better,” Bilimoria concluded. “We are very excited that Comic Relief has decided to bring the show to the U.S. and grateful that they have included global immunisation as an area to highlight during the telecast.”

See more photos from this event 

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