Every day is opening night.

The Nederlander Organization & Disney’s “The Lion King”  Join The UN Foundation’s “Nothing But Nets”

Rick Miramontez / Ryan Ratelle
rick@oandmco.com / ryan@oandmco.com


New York, NY (April 24, 2012) – The Nederlander Organization and Disney’s The Lion King have joined the United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign, a global grassroots movement to fight malaria in Africa. The organizations will work together to raise awareness among millions of Broadway fans about how they can help stop malaria, a disease that kills a child every 60 seconds and is spread by a single mosquito bite.

Since last June, more than 130,000 refugees—and counting—have entered South Sudan and neighboring countries to escape fighting on the border of Sudan. As the situation worsens, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is providing food, water, and shelter. Living in a country where malaria is the leading cause of death among children under five, the refugee families in South Sudan need another life-saving tool: insecticide-treated bed nets. The nets create a protective barrier against mosquitoes at night, when the vast majority of malaria transmissions occur, and are a cost-effective method of preventing the spread of the disease.  A net costs just $10 to purchase, deliver, and to educate the recipient on its proper use.

To meet this need, the United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign launched a nationwide appeal to send 100,000 life-saving bed nets to help these families sleep safely. As a major partner of Nothing But Nets, the Nederlander Organization—joined by Disney—is encouraging audiences at many of their theatres across the country to send nets and save lives in South Sudan. Nederlander’s month-long effort kicked off with Fela! at Broadway In Chicago and culminates with an audience appeal at Disney’s The Lion King on Broadway on World Malaria Day, April 25, 2012. The program is also being supported at Nederlander presentations in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, Tucson, and Durham.  On April 23, Nederlander Organization Chairman James M. Nederlander was recognized by the United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign as a Champion in the fight to end malaria, in part to celebrate the company’s 100th anniversary.

“When my grandfather founded the Nederlander Company in 1912, thousands of people were still suffering from malaria around the U.S. every year,” said James L. Nederlander, President of the Nederlander Organization.

The Lion King has connected millions of Americans to Africa,” said Tom Schumacher, President of Disney Theatrical Group. “It’s fitting that this story gives its fans an opportunity to help fight malaria—a leading cause of death among children on the continent. We welcome Nothing But Nets to The Lion King in celebration of its fifth anniversary and in recognition of the campaign’s lifesaving efforts to prevent the spread of malaria in Africa.”

“We’re thrilled to have both the Broadway and national touring company of Disney’s The Lion King, the Nederlander Organization, and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS join Nothing But Nets to help save lives from malaria,” said the UN Foundation’s Vice President of Global Partnerships, Elizabeth Gore. “In five years, the Nothing But Nets campaign has brought together the world’s largest group of partners and grassroots supporters to send nets to save lives from malaria; today we’re excited to bring that buzz to the Broadway community.”

To date, Nothing But Nets has raised more than $40 million to distribute more than 6 million nets to families throughout Africa. To learn more and to donate, visit www.NothingButNets.net.

About Nothing But Nets
Nothing But Nets is a global, grassroots campaign to save lives by preventing malaria, a leading killer of children in Africa. Inspired by sports columnist Rick Reilly, hundreds of thousands of people have joined the campaign that was created by the United Nations Foundation in 2006. Founding campaign partners include the National Basketball Association’s NBA Cares, The people of The United Methodist Church, and Sports Illustrated. It only costs $10 to provide an insecticide-treated bed net that can prevent this deadly disease. Visit www.NothingButNets.net to send a net and save a life.

About the UN Foundation
The United Nations Foundation builds public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by global corporations, foundations, governments, and individuals. For more information, visit www.unfoundation.org.

About the Nederlander Organization
Nederlander is celebrating 100 years as owners of historic theatres and concert venues as well as presenters of the world’s best in live entertainment. Under the guidance of Chairman James M. Nederlander, and President James L. Nederlander, the company operates a network of theatres in New York, Chicago, Durham, Los Angeles, North Charleston, San Diego, San Jose, Tucson, and London. The company is also a prolific producer of Broadway shows including Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Evita, and the upcoming production of Annie.

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