Star-Studded Fundraiser Benefits United Way, National Wildlife Federation and the Nature Conservancy Providing Immediate, Direct Support for Families, Residents and Wildlife Affected by Gulf Oil Spill
Guests Include Justin Bieber, Ted Danson, Cameron Diaz, Kathy Griffin, Chelsea Handler, Randy Jackson, Kerry Kennedy, Lenny Kravitz, Jenny McCarthy, Tim McGraw, Alyssa Milano, Edward James Olmos, ictoria Principal, Robert Redford, Ian Somerhalder, Sting, Melania and Ivanka Trump, Pete Wentz, ith Ryan Seacrest Hosting Special Online Social Suite and More
CNN's Anderson Cooper, Soledad O'Brien, Kyra Phillips and Rob Marciano Report Latest Updates From the Gulf During Live Special
LOS ANGELES, CA — CNN original Larry King hosts a special two-hour Larry King Live telethon this Monday, June 21, "DISASTER IN THE GULF: How You Can Help," from 8 to 10pm Eastern, a star-studded effort to raise funds for United Way, The National Wildlife Federation and The Nature Conservancy, organizations working directly with the families, individuals and wildlife affected by the Gulf oil spill.
"The Gulf oil spill is a disaster both national and natural in scope, and the point of this effort is to get immediate relief to the people and Wildlife who are in urgent need," says longtime CNN Larry King Live Senior Executive Producer Wendy Walker. "The telethon's proceeds go directly to the relief organizations who are working on the frontlines to do just that."
King comments, "I understand bureaucracy and that some things take time, but when you're out of work, you don't need help tomorrow, you need help today. I'm grateful so many friends and colleagues are coming out to support our June 21st telethon. We're going to raise all we can to help the people and also the wildlife that need it now."
Guests include Justin Bieber, Deepak Chopra, Cameron Diaz, Philippe Cousteau, Ted Danson, Kathy Griffin, Chelsea Handler, Randy Jackson, Kerry Kennedy, Sammy Kershaw, Lenny Kravitz, Jenny McCarthy, Tim McGraw, Alyssa Milano, Aaron Neville, Edward James Olmos, Victoria Principal, Robert Redford, Gloria Reuben, Tyson Ritter, Richard Simmons, Ian Somerhalder, Sam Trammell, Melania and Ivanka Trump, Pete Wentz, with a special performance by Sting. Guests talk with King on set and via satellite and also participate in the program's telephone banks taking viewer calls, or in a special online Social Suite — hosted by Ryan Seacrest — for participants using internet social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Celebrity guests post live Facebook updates during Monday's telethon and the hashtag #CNNHelpGulf is used for viewers and online participants wanting to join the conversation on Twitter.
CNN's Anderson Cooper, Soledad O'Brien, Kyra Phillips and Rob Marciano provide the latest news from the Gulf throughout the 2-hour live telecast, with reports from locations including New Orleans, Grand Isle, and other areas throughout the region.
King also welcomes 11-year old special guest Olivia Bouler from Islip, New York, who made news with her effort to protect birds in her native Southern Alabama by providing original watercolor paintings of regional birds to anyone who donated to organizations working to protect Gulf wildlife. She has raised over $20,000 to date through her efforts benefiting groups such as the Audubon Society, Sierra Club, Weeks Bay Foundation, Mobile Bay Estuary Program and the National Wildlife Fund. Bouler paints a picture during Monday's telethon to auction for viewers, with proceeds going directly toward the evening's fundraising efforts.
CNN.com/ImpactYourWorld offers users and viewers ways to help, with highlights from organizations seeking volunteers, links for direct donations, tips for helping for those who can't travel to the Gulf, iReporters' solutions for the cleanup, a live on-page update of what people are saying in the Twitter world on #CNNHelpGulf as well as celebrity videos and more. CNN also offers the option of mobile giving for telethon viewers with individuals able to give via mobile phone text message to United Way, The National Wildlife Federation or The Nature Conservancy. Text message donation codes for the organizations involved are announced during the CNN telethon.
United Way's Worldwide CEO, Brian Gallagher, said, "The situation in the Gulf has created real and immediate needs for families whose livelihoods have been affected. Calls are coming in now for food, rent and utilities assistance. We are also preparing for the extensive long-term needs that will arise. United Way will remain on the ground after the immediate response, working side-by-side with Gulf Coast residents to build more resilient communities. This includes helping people as they re-imagine their lives and livelihoods, take care of long-term health and mental health issues, and learn how to become more financially stable to face any future challenges."
"The impact this disaster is having on people and wildlife in the Gulf region is unthinkable," said Larry Schweiger, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. "This tragedy is unfolding in the heart of spring migration, nesting season and calving season in the open water."
Mark Tercek, CEO of The Nature Conservancy, commented, "The Gulf of Mexico is a national treasure that millions of Americans across the country depend on for their livelihoods, food, recreation and inspiration. This precious resource has suffered from decades of neglect and damage, all of which has been dramatically compounded by this catastrophic oil spill. We need a comprehensive effort to protect and restore the Gulf, one that is built on innovation, collaboration and a shared vision of a healthy and vibrant natural system. We must act on this now. We simply can't wait another day."
Walker and King recently orchestrated another Larry King Live telethon, Haiti: How You Can Help, which benefited UNICEF and the Red Cross, organizations working directly with those affected by the devastating earthquake in Haiti earlier this year. The two-hour special featured a wide-ranging list of celebrities, opinion leaders and tastemakers and raised some $10 million for the earthquake relief effort.
Transcripts, still photography, video clips and web video clips will be made available upon request after air.
For more information on thethree organizations involved in this initiative please visit the following:
National Wildlife Federation
The Nature Conservancy