The Miami Walgreens store as a participant in Red Nose Day raised some $2,000 for the Ottawa County Boys & Girls Club's summer program.

MIAMI – Laughter can truly be the best medicine.

For almost 30 years, Red Nose Day has been using the power of comedy to help children and youths around the world, raising over $1 billion worldwide in that time and $60 million in the U.S. since 2015.

One of the signature marks of the annual campaign, which was held on May 25 this year, is the sale of red noses to raise funds.

Walgreens and Duane Reade locations nationwide served as the exclusive retail partner for red noses this year.

This will be the second year Walgreens has partnered with the charity in the U.S.

Run by the non-profit organization Comic Relief, the very first Red Nose Day was held in 1988 and since then has continued to garner the support of celebrities and businesses to support its mission "To drive positive change through the power of entertainment."

All of Red Nose Day’s grant money supports projects to keep children and young people safe, healthy, educated and empowered through a host of programs and partnerships with charities such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of America; Children’s Health Fund; Feeding America and Save the Children.

Local Impact

This year, the Miami Walgreens store as a participant in Red Nose Day raised some $2,000 for the Ottawa County Boys & Girls Club's summer program.

Local Walgreens customers were given the opportunity to purchase red noses leading up to and through May 25 with funds going to the campaign to benefit the local Club. However, the store faced hesitancy from some who were uncertain what they would do with the symbolic trinket.

Getting creative, Miami Walgreens Store Manager Phyllis Sidener coordinated with Ottawa County Boys & Girls Club Director Mackenzie Garst so customers could make their donation with purchased noses then going to the Club for member's to enjoy at the campaign's end. A win-win.

On Monday, June 5, Sidener along with one of her employees, Tristen Wells, delivered the noses to the Boys & Girls Club at their new location in the former National Guard Armory building in Riverview Park.

Kids in the summer program were quick to snatch some up, wearing them as they played and socialized.

Staff and volunteers were not shy about getting in on the fun too.

By Red Nose standards, the day was definitely one of laughter and benefit.

Above all, Garst expressed the importance of the community knowing their dollars are staying and working locally.

"It's important for people to see how these things help us," said Garst. "With big campaigns like this, people don't always see the local impact. But this is helping our community, our kids."

Dorothy Ballard is the managing news editor of the Miami News-Record. Contact her at and follow her on Twitter @dm_ballard.