WHO NEEDS SLEEP, a 36-hour variety telethon broadcast, returns for its second year to entertain and inform audiences while raising funds for two cancer-related charitable organizations.
Hosted by Executive Director Devin Pike, the telethon mixes live music and comedy performances, game shows, celebrity and athlete interviews, and special in-studio surprises. Viewers are urged to pledge money through online donations as well as bidding on auction items from the worlds of sports, entertainment, fashion and dining.
WHO NEEDS SLEEP will broadcast online beginning at 8:00 am (Central) Saturday, September 1, 2018 at http://WhoNeedsSleep.org, and will continue until 8:00 pm Sunday, September 2, 2018.
Proceeds from the telethon benefit Cancer Support Community North Texas, and the Hematology and Oncology Program of Cook Children’s Hospital of Dallas.
"A charity telethon, held on Labor Day Weekend, is a time-honored tradition that I have long wanted to be a part of," said Pike. "I’d prefer for people to open their hearts and wallets without bribery, but I’m more than willing to assemble a world-class show to prime the pump.
“In the final hour of the 2017 event, the crew decided to put me on the spot to produce an annual event. We set the date while on the air, and this time we have several months to plan a world-class event instead of the five-week runup we had for the first event. Both of these organizations need every dollar we can raise, and we’re here to support them as long as we’re able,” said Pike, who will be on-air through the entirety of WHO NEEDS SLEEP with a revolving cast of co-hosts.
Musicians scheduled to perform on the telethon include Bad Karma, Not Ur Girlfrienz, Grace Descending, Alexander & Annalisa Dunn, Sean Cole, and Able Delilahs. The telethon will also include performances by Language of Laughter, a charity comedy collective from Denton. Panelists on WNS versions of MATCH GAME and THE BIG FAT QUIZ will include Texas Rangers field reporter Emily Jones McCoy, comedian Paul Varghese, radio personality Jasmine Sadry, Dallas Film Society Creative Director James Faust, FOX Sports reporter Ashlea Bullington, and Dallas Morning News executive Mike Orren. (All appearances are subject to scheduling.)
Viewers can donate online through WhoNeedsSleep.org, by straight pledges or bidding on auction items (a full list of the auctions and times will be posted in August). Also, business and corporations have the ability to sponsor segments (such as the game shows, or musician performances) or studio spaces for the telethon.
For the second year, WHO NEEDS SLEEP will broadcast from the studios of VOKAL, which features streaming video and audio entertainment for fans of long-form podcasts, classic and alternative rock, and roots and classic country.
“We're extremely grateful to Devin and WNS – without events like this, we couldn't help those facing cancer in our community get the much-needed support they need. Every dollar counts, and every opportunity to create awareness helps immensely,” said Cancer Support Community North Texas CEO Mirchelle Louis.
“Cook Children’s is honored and grateful to be a beneficiary of this event. Funds raised through WHO NEEDS SLEEP are helping us provide the best care to the patients in our Hematology and Oncology Program. Without the support of our community, we would not be able to provide leading-edge clinical research and additional resources to help families during their Cook Children’s journey,” said Grant Harris, Chief Development Officer / Senior Vice President of Cook Children’s Health Foundation.
In May, the team behind WHO NEEDS SLEEP formed a non-profit corporation with the sole aim of raising funds for cancer-related organizations. Along with the 36-hour Labor Day telethon, Who Needs Sleep, Inc. plans to produce other fundraising events through the calendar year.
A broadcaster and entertainment reporter since 1981, Pike has been working in the pop culture and geek culture realms as a renowned emcee and panel host for film festivals and comic cons around the country.
With WHO NEEDS SLEEP, Pike is raising funds for a cause close to his heart: he's a two-time survivor of throat cancer, and organized the inaugural WHO NEEDS SLEEP less than a month after his final cancer treatment session in December 2017.