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Red Nose Day 2024 fights child poverty with the 'whimsy' of a candy castle, monster truck and Legos

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Red Nose Day 2024 fights child poverty with the 'whimsy' of a candy castle, monster truck and Legos
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Red Nose Day 2024 fights child poverty with the 'whimsy' of a candy castle, monster truck and Legos

2024-05-24 04:27 Last Updated At:09:45

NEW YORK (AP) — An edible, life-sized cookie of the contest winner and a car-crushing monster truck ride are two of the new prizes up for grabs in the Red Nose Day 2024 campaign, which ramps up Thursday.

As Comic Relief US's fundraising initiative for underserved American children enters its 10th year, the charity is hoping to draw donations by encouraging the childlike wonder that millions of poverty-stricken kids might miss. First disseminated through clown-like schnozzes at Walgreens locations, the message is spreading this year through Instagram sing-alongs, a sweepstakes and new partners such as Lego.

It’s all an effort to “evoke the childhood dream of whimsy,” Comic Relief US CEO Alison Moore told The Associated Press.

In 2022, child poverty doubled in the United States, as pandemic-era benefits expired, adding relevance to the mission. Since 2015, Red Nose Day has raised $370 million to stock community food centers and fund local health workers, among other anti-poverty measures worldwide.

Through June 3, contributions on Red Nose Day’s website will unlock an entry into a “Childhood Dreamstakes” for one of six experiences that hope to stir the fanciful wishes of youth. In addition to the cookie and the truck, donors could win an edible cotton candy castle, a personalized hot air balloon ride, a giant model volcano eruption or “a trip to befriend a penguin.”

Planned with help from creative agency Gus, the campaign expects that the “fun-filled moments” will highlight the importance of a “healthy, fruitful childhood” and “creating space to let kids be kids.”

“To us, it’s a reminder of the carefree happiness every child deserves, and the childhood sense of fun and wonder that’s inside us all,” Gus co-founder Spencer LaVallee said in a statement.

Comic Relief US is once more relying on entertainers to generate awareness. Halftime skills challenges during the Harlem Globetrotters’ domestic tour featured a custom Red Nose Day basketball. Longtime partner NBC plans to celebrate the decadelong drive with a one-hour special Thursday including “The Voice” coaches John Legend, Chance the Rapper, Reba McEntire and Dan + Shay.

As in recent years, Comic Relief US is foregoing the physical red nose once available to Walgreens customers. What’s new are interactive filters that place digital ones on users’ faces across Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Snapchat. Pets should even be able to don a virtual red nose on the latter two platforms.

While the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is again backing the campaign, the push is also aided by first-time corporate collaborations with some kid-friendly brands. Aimed toward field trips, Lego's “The Biggest Build” challenge will invite students to design their dream communities at 14 museums around the country. Chuck E. Cheese locations are soliciting round-up contributions at checkout this month and donating 20% of participating sales on Thursday.

Others in the philanthropic sector credited Comic Relief US for staying authentic to Red Nose Day over the past 10 years. The tactics won't work for every fundraiser, said Elevate Prize Foundation CEO Carolina Garcia Jayaram, who founded the nonprofit supporting social entrepreneurs.

But Jayaram said fundraising is about meeting people where they are — and comedy and popular culture have proven to be successful avenues for drawing attention toward childhood poverty.

“There's not nearly enough money being pumped into these solutions,” Jayaram told the AP at the nonprofit's annual Make Good Famous Summit on Wednesday. "I wish we didn't all have to get out there and do a big song and dance for all that money. But if it works, it works.”

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Associated Press writer Glenn Gamboa in Miami Beach, Florida, contributed to this report.

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Associated Press coverage of philanthropy and nonprofits receives support through the AP’s collaboration with The Conversation US, with funding from Lilly Endowment Inc. The AP is solely responsible for this content. For all of AP’s philanthropy coverage, visit https://apnews.com/hub/philanthropy.

This undated combination of images provided by Comic Relief's Red Nose Day shows social media users taking selfies with the campaign's filters. (Comic Relief's Red Nose Day via AP)

This undated combination of images provided by Comic Relief's Red Nose Day shows social media users taking selfies with the campaign's filters. (Comic Relief's Red Nose Day via AP)

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Denmark takes on Serbia in final match of a wide open group at Euro 2024

2024-06-25 01:46 Last Updated At:01:50

MUNICH (AP) — Denmark faces Serbia on Tuesday in Munich in their final Group C match. Both teams hope it’s not their last game at the European Championship. Denmark is second in the group, two points below England and level on points with third-placed Slovenia. Serbia is last but has only one less point than Denmark and Slovenia. Kickoff is at 9 p.m. local time (1900 GMT). Here’s what to know about the match:

— Denmark would advance to the round of 16 with a win and would be eliminated if it loses and Slovenia avoids defeat against England.

— If both matches end in a draw, Denmark and Slovenia will be split for second and third on overall goals scored, then disciplinary points, then European Qualifiers rankings. The first two tiebreakers are head-to-head and goal difference but that would stay equal.

— Serbia, which snatched a vital draw against Slovenia on Thursday to keep its hopes alive, will advance if it beats Denmark and Slovenia fails to win against England. It will be out if it draws and Slovenia avoids defeat.

— Other results could leave Serbia scrambling for a calculator and facing an anxious wait to see if it scrapes through as one of the four best third-place teams.

— Denmark midfielder Thomas Delaney has recovered from the illness that kept him out of the match against England.

— Serbia has no new injury concerns but winger Filip Kostic is out after injuring a knee ligament in his team’s opening loss to England.

— There has never been a draw between the two sides. Each has won five of their 10 encounters.

— But four of Denmark’s five wins have come in the last four matches, including a 3-0 victory the last time they met, in March 2022.

— Christian Eriksen has moved level with Simon Kjaer on a Denmark record of 132 national-team games. Kjaer, Denmark’s captain at Euro 2020, was an unused substitute against Slovenia and England as the defender returns to full fitness.

“I feel like I’ve congratulated Christian three of four times for the record. Again tomorrow, he’s setting a milestone. And not only in his career, but in Danish football. … He’s a great player in Danish football history. What can I say? Fantastic guy, fantastic player.” — Denmark midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.

“I don’t like boring football. Really, I don’t like. I want to see my team attack, who create chances. I want to see Serbia with the full determination.” — Serbia coach Dragan Stojkovic.

“They have great physical strength in attack. We must minimize their opportunities to cross and get too many set pieces. It’s about being on the ball a lot so that we eliminate their greatest strengths.” — Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand.

AP Euro 2024: https://apnews.com/hub/euro-2024

Serbia's Filip Kostic leaves the pitch after being substituted during a Group C match between Serbia and England at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Sunday, June 16, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

Serbia's Filip Kostic leaves the pitch after being substituted during a Group C match between Serbia and England at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Sunday, June 16, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

Serbia's head coach Dragan Stojkovic reacts after Slovenia scored a goal during a Group C match between Slovenia and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Thursday, June 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Serbia's head coach Dragan Stojkovic reacts after Slovenia scored a goal during a Group C match between Slovenia and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Thursday, June 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Serbia's Milos Veljkovic, right, celebrates with teammates his side first goal against Slovenia during a Group C match between Slovenia and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Thursday, June 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Serbia's Milos Veljkovic, right, celebrates with teammates his side first goal against Slovenia during a Group C match between Slovenia and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Thursday, June 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Serbia's Luka Jovic celebrates after scoring his side first goal during a Group C match between Slovenia and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Thursday, June 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Serbia's Luka Jovic celebrates after scoring his side first goal during a Group C match between Slovenia and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Thursday, June 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Serbia's head coach Dragan Stojkovic reacts after a missed chance to score a goal during a Group C match between Slovenia and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Thursday, June 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Serbia's head coach Dragan Stojkovic reacts after a missed chance to score a goal during a Group C match between Slovenia and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Thursday, June 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Denmark's head coach Kasper Hjulmand and players at the end of a Group C match between Denmark and England at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Frankfurt, Germany, Thursday, June 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

Denmark's head coach Kasper Hjulmand and players at the end of a Group C match between Denmark and England at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Frankfurt, Germany, Thursday, June 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

Denmark's head coach Kasper Hjulmand gestures after a Group C match between Denmark and England at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Frankfurt, Germany, Thursday, June 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

Denmark's head coach Kasper Hjulmand gestures after a Group C match between Denmark and England at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Frankfurt, Germany, Thursday, June 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

Serbia's players celebrate their sides first goal against Slovenia during a Group C match between Slovenia and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Thursday, June 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Serbia's players celebrate their sides first goal against Slovenia during a Group C match between Slovenia and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Thursday, June 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

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