Stars Align for Televised and Online Covid-19 Fundraisers

Entertainment industry personalities are lending their talents – although for the most part not coming together – to a variety of thanks-giving and fundraising extravaganzas. The events are appearing on various broadcast and online channels. 

A Night of Covenant House Stars will combine Broadway and Hollywood talent in a gala that will start streaming online on Monday, May 18 at 8 p.m. ET. The fundraiser will benefit Covenant House’s work, as the organization, which serves homeless youth, celebrates frontline staff working to keep its charges safe during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Luminaries scheduled to appear or perform include Jon Bon Jovi, Stephen Colbert, Diane Keaton, Zachary Levi, Chris O’Dowd, Dolly Parton, Tony Shalhoub, Meryl Streep, Dionne Warwick and others. The event will stream on a number of platforms, including Broadway on Demand, Facebook, IHeartRadio Broadway, Twitch and YouTube.

The Motion Picture & Television Fund (MPTF) enlisted Pierce Brosnan, George Clooney, Michael Douglas, Jodie Foster, Hugh Jackman and Allison Janney to lead its We All Play Our Part fundraiser for its Covid-19 Emergency Relief Fund. 

The one-hour benefit streamed on May 15 at 9 p.m. on the MPTF’s YouTube page, and feature messages and performances from Joely Fisher, Daisy Fuentes, Kris Jenner, Ken Jeong, Leslie Odom Jr., Ray Romano, Wanda Sykes and many others. Proceeds will provide relief to entertainment industry figures who are experiencing financial hardship due to the current epidemic. 

Monday, May 11 saw Tina Fey at the helm of Rise Up New York! a virtual telethon supporting New Yorkers affected by Covid-19. The event started at 7 p.m. and raised $115 million.

Guests included Mariah Carey, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio, Robert De Niro, Jimmy Fallon, Bette Midler, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Sting, Barbra Streisand and others. 

Rise Up New York!, which raised funds for food, shelter, financial assistance, physical and mental health service, legal services, and education services for frontline workers, was featured on a variety of New York local and national television and radio stations and networks.

On Sunday, May 10, the NBC television network broadcast the Feeding America Comedy Festival. The two-hour special featured pre-recorded performances from Jack Black, Kevin Hart, George Lopez, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock and Adam Sandler, with appearances by three dozen other comedy personalities.

Proceeds benefitted Chicago-based Feeding America, which coordinates anti-hunger activities through a network of food banks. The organization has a special relief fund dedicated to providing meals for those impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Preliminary estimates from a Feeding America spokesperson put the total raised at $1.3 million.