Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Launches Red Bucket Match-Up Campaign to Fund National Grants Program

Six Stars from Stage and Screen Lead Online Fundraising Competition as Gilead Sciences Matches Donations Dollar for Dollar, up to $1 Million

(BUSINESS WIRE)–Six of Broadway and Hollywood’s most charitable stars are stepping up to lead the first Red Bucket Match-Up, an online fundraising campaign starting today to fund Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ National Grants Program. The spirited two-week competition, with a $2 million goal, will help provide lifesaving medication, health care and emergency assistance to those across the country struggling right now.

“The competitive spirit of these six actors and the generosity of Gilead will help fill a critical void that’s deepened for local organizations during the pandemic as requests for help dramatically increase and financial support has decreased” Tweet this

Every donation to the Red Bucket Match-Up will be matched by Gilead Sciences, Inc. dollar for dollar up to $1 million. The campaign, which runs through Friday, April 16, will help those facing challenges today from HIV/AIDS, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and other life-threatening illnesses in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

Taking center stage to encourage fans and followers to donate are Jason Alexander (NBC’s Seinfeld, Jerome Robbins’ BroadwayMerrily We Roll Along), Jordan Fisher (Disney Channel’s Liv and Maddie, Dear Evan HansenHamilton), Kathryn Gallagher (Jagged Little PillSpring Awakening), Eric McCormack (NBC’s Will & GraceGore Vidal’s The Best ManThe Music Man), Aaron Tveit (Moulin Rouge! The Musical, USA Network’s GracelandLes Misérables film) and Jenna Ushkowitz (Waitress, Fox’s Glee). Each of the stars will take to their social media channels to ask for contributions to their virtual red buckets, the iconic symbol of Broadway Cares’ fundraising efforts.

Donations can be made to any of the celebrities at broadwaycares.org/matchup. Each star’s up-to-the-minute fundraising total will be available to track the competition in real time.

“The competitive spirit of these six actors and the generosity of Gilead will help fill a critical void that’s deepened for local organizations during the pandemic as requests for help dramatically increase and financial support has decreased,” Broadway Cares Executive Director Tom Viola said. “Gilead led the funding of our Emergency Grants for Pandemic Relief last year, ensuring grants that we initially feared wouldn’t be made. While we hoped to be back in theaters fundraising by this time, we’re excited about the opportunity the Red Bucket Match-Up gives us for this year’s National Grants Program.”

These grants will provide help and hope at a time of unprecedented uncertainty in communities that need it most.

“Gilead is committed to funding programs and organizations that offer much needed services and support for people living with HIV,” said Brett Pletcher, Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs and General Counsel, Gilead Sciences. “The events of the last year have only exacerbated and exposed existing inequities in communities affected by HIV. Our matching grant to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS will help fund local HIV service organizations so they can continue making an important impact in communities across the country.”

Broadway Cares’ iconic red buckets are a staple for in-person fundraising during the spring and fall at theaters across the country. With the shutdown of Broadway, Off-Broadway and national tour now beginning its 13th month, the Red Bucket Match-Up takes on even greater importance.

For many communities that already faced inequities before the pandemic, including access to health care, the events of the last year have only exacerbated and exposed these injustices. The organizations that will receive the grants, many of which have been part of Broadway Cares’ National Grants Program for years, are providing essential outreach, medical services, emergency help, direct services and harm reduction programs to those most in need and often forgotten, left behind or abandoned by the response to this pandemic.

Last May, just weeks after the pandemic shut down Broadway and the 2020 spring in-theater fundraising campaign, Gilead offered $1 million to help Broadway Cares award Emergency Grants for Pandemic Relief. They were quickly joined by M‧A‧C Viva Glam, ViiV Healthcare and the P. Austin Family Foundation. Broadway Cares’ supporters helped raise another $250,000, matched by Gilead, to provide a full $2 million in emergency grants.

About Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. By drawing upon the talents, resources and generosity of the American theatre community, since 1988 Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has raised more than $300 million for essential services for people with HIV/AIDS, COVID-19 and other critical illnesses across the United States.

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is the major supporter of the social service programs at The Actors Fund, including the HIV/AIDS Initiative, the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative and The Friedman Health Center for the Performing Arts. Broadway Cares also awards annual grants to more than 450 AIDS and family service organizations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., providing lifesaving medication, healthy meals, counseling and emergency assistance.

For more information, please visit Broadway Cares online at broadwaycares.org, at facebook.com/BCEFA, at instagram.com/BCEFA, at twitter.com/BCEFA and at youtube.com/BCEFA.

Photo: Broadway Cares