Red Nose Day is coming to America for the first time. The United Kingdom’s charity event is crossing the pond and coming to the shores of the U.S. The event has been going on since 1997 in the U.K. according to Walgreens it is the largest charity effort in that country. The charity encourages people to have a good time, laugh, and to wear a red nose for a great cause, a cause to support organizations whose mission is to help children and young people living in poverty in the U.S. and other countries. Red Nose Day was created by Richard Curtis a film director and writer (Knotting Hill, Love Actually). The event is held annually with support from Comic Relief U.K. and has raised over $1 billion in 30 years.
Walgreens was the starting point for the Red Nose Day event in the United States. The champion of “every one’s right to be healthy and happy” started selling red noses in support of the event on April 17. The noses will be sold until May 30. They are selling for $1 with all proceeds going to the cause. Some sources say the noses are already hard to come by. Walgreens and Duane Reade are exclusive retail partners with the charity, making it easy and accessible for people to get involved. They kicked off the event in Walgreens’ hometown of Chicago with a celebration to mark the first sale of a red nose. The comedy troupe Second City based in Chicago dressed up as employees and surprised shoppers with a comedic performance after the first nose was officially purchased in the U.S by Chicago shopper Audrey Bliss.
To make people aware of the event and get them involved in spreading laughter Walgreens is inviting everyone to share pictures of them wearing their red noses on social media. People can take selfies and upload them with the #Red Nose, #promo or #Walgreens to Twitter or Instagram. Those who do will have a chance to win a trip to New York City to attend the official May 21, celebration of Red Nose Day.
Promotions for the fundraising event were kicked of earlier this year with help from Mel B., Christina Aguilera, John Legend, and John Ham. The latest promotional video was done by Nick Offerman of Parks and Recreation. Offerman performed a dance for the charity telethon in the video.
This will all climax with a spectacular Red Nose Day American debut event on NBS at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom. NBC and Live Funny or Die are co-producing the event which will air live, May 21 at eight p..m. The fundraising event will have an all-star cast. There will be musical and comedic performances from Legend, Jack Black, Will Ferrell, Anna Kendrick, Sam Smith, Jennifer Hudson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, and the coaches from The Voice, Aguilera, Blake Shelton, and Adam Levin. Offerman, John Krasinski, John Michael Higgins, Chris Pine, Jeff Goldblum, Laura Linney, Matt Lauer, Emily Blunt, Elizabeth Banks, Stephen Merchant, Carson Daly, Martin Short, Michell Rodriguez, Billy Eichner, and Bill and Melinda Gates will also make appearances.
The evening will be three hours long and along with performance, will boast short films showing viewers the people who benefit from the event and their stories. All money raised from the first annual event in America will got to the Red Nose Day Fund, the fund is a program of Comic Relief Inc, a registered 501(c)(3) public charity. The fund will dispense money raised by the campaign to charities who do works that mirror Comic Relief, Inc. mission of a world free from poverty. Some of the charities are LIFT, United Way, Save the Children, Boys and Girl Clubs, the Global Fund, and others.
By Jessica Hamel
Photo by Guillaume Gautreau-Creativecommons Flickr License