On Wednesday the Fire Relief Fund multi-platform fundraising event, hosted by the United Way of Greater Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Rams, CBS 2 and KCAL 9, raised over $1,173,905 (as of midnight, so likely has grown) for United Way’s Southern California Disaster Relief Fund. The Wednesday fundraiser will serve both immediate and critical long-term needs of economically vulnerable neighbors affected by recent fires. While phone lines are closed, funds are continuing to come in as individuals text 2018fires to 41444, log in to unitedwayla.org/2018fires and send in checks.*
“The community came together in an unprecedented way Wednesday. From celebrities to event organizers to those who waited on the lines to donate whatever amount they could—many of whom have themselves been impacted by the fires—our community came together as one,” said Elise Buik, President and CEO of United Way of Greater Los Angeles. “At least one donor tripled their pledge by the end of the night, volunteers stayed beyond their shifts and people are still reaching out from around the world to donate. Thanks to the incredible support of all those who have and will continue to join with us, we can help thousands of individuals and families rebuild their lives.”
Los Angeles Rams COO Kevin Demoff joined President and General Manager of CBS 2 and KCAL 9 Steve Mauldin to kick off the fundraiser. Throughout the day, Rams players including Jared Goff, Andrew Whitworth, Aaron Donald, Michael Brockers, Johnny Hekker, Brandin Cooks, Mark Barron and General Manager Les Snead made appearances on-air to offer support to the community. Additionally, former Rams players Eric Dickerson, Jackie Slater, Vince Ferragamo, Harold Jackson and Greg Bell joined Los Angeles Rams cheerleaders and staff to answer phones.
“It has been inspiring to see our community come together after so much destruction to help our neighbors begin the long process of recovering and rebuilding,” said Kevin Demoff, COO of the Los Angeles Rams. “As our brave first responders continue fighting these fires and protecting our region, we are grateful to the generosity of all who contributed to helping those in greatest need.”
A number of celebrities made appearances and answered phones, including Alyssa Milano, Robin Thicke, Bob Odenkirk, Sharon Osbourne, Sheryl Underwood and Stephnie Weir. Others–including Britney Spears, Stephen Colbert, Mark Hamill, Dr. Phil, Adina Porter, Bob Odenkirk, Vivica A. Fox, Chris Martinez, LA Galaxy player Daniel Steres — voiced their support on Twitter and other social media channels. CBS Los Angeles tweeted a heartfelt video message from James Corden: “The devastation caused by the Woolsey and Hill Fires means we all have an opportunity and a calling to come together and help care for our neighbors. Already so many brave firefighters have risked their lives to stop the fires and so many Southern Californians have opened their hearts and homes to help. But this is going to be a long rebuilding process and we are only just beginning the fight.”
Corporate donors and individuals made pledges to the fund over the phone, on websites, social media and via text. Top pledges include: IBM, $125,000; JP Morgan Chase & Co., $125,000; Edison International, $100,000; Annenberg Foundation, $50,000; Dole Food Company, Inc., $50,000; 21st Century Fox, $25,000; Charlize Theron, $25,000; The Sikand Foundation, $15,000 and Pauley Perrette, $10,000. Anonymous pledges were also given in the amount of $175,000. Another generous pledge of $50,000 by City National Bank was received Thursday after the fundraiser ended.
One group of entertainment professionals came together to donate—Actor Barrett Foa, who appeared on the broadcast, sent a group text to the entire “NCIS: Los Angeles” cast and crew, who immediately responded with a $10,000 pledge.
“Everyone at CBS 2 and KCAL 9 was honored to participate in this fundraiser,” said Steve Mauldin, President and General Manager, CBS 2 and KCAL 9. “We were deeply moved by how our employees, our partners at the United Way and Los Angeles Rams, and all the volunteers poured their hearts into this relief effort. And it was gratifying to see our viewers respond the way they did. We are thankful for every donation.”
United Way of Greater Los Angeles extends immense gratitude to CBS 2, KCAL 9 and the Los Angeles Rams for their continued partnership. United Way also thanks the volunteers, organizations, and individuals who provided support at the event. While not an exhaustive list, these include:
- Those who appeared on the broadcast, including Amy Johnson, Robin Thicke, Heather Tom, John McCook, Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby, Dole Food Company Director of Corporate Communications William Goldfield, Los Angeles Chargers Coach Anthony Lynn, Areva Martin, Kevin Frazier, Alyssa Milano, Milwaukee Brewers player Christian Yelich, Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenz, Bob Odenkirk, Los Angeles Laker Girls, Daniel Goddard, Sharon Osbourne, Sheryl Underwood, Adam Rodriguez, Stephnie Weir, Amber Stevens West, A.J. Buckley, Toni Trucks, Eric Braeden, Nita Landry, Sportscaster and Anchor Jim Hill, President of the Los Angeles Kings Luc Robitaille, California State Senator Henry Stern, Pauley Perrette, AEG President and CEO Dan Beckerman, Nischelle Turner, Los Angeles County CEO Sachi A. Hamai, Los Angeles Galaxy Player Daniel Steres, Patrick Fabian, Justin Melnick and Dita, Sandra Mitchell, Judge Michael Corriero, and Victor Williams.
- Volunteers from organizations including AEG Worldwide, American Red Cross, California Highway Patrol, Deloitte, KPMG, LA Galaxy, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Scale Management, Sedgwick, Starbucks, United Airlines, United Steelworkers Local 675, Laborers’ Local 300 Union, United War Veterans Council, UTA, Utility Workers Union of America, and Valero.
“The United Way of Ventura County appreciates all the hard work and talent that went into this event to support those impacted in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties by these devastating fires,” said Eric Harrison, CEO, United Way of Ventura County.
United Way of Greater Los Angeles established the Southern California Disaster Relief Fund on November 9, to provide longer-term support to help the most vulnerable individuals and families affected by wildfires across Southern California. The fund was established in partnership with the United Way of Ventura County and United Ways of California and will be administered by United Way of Greater Los Angeles, which will allocate and distribute funds to support impacted counties. United Way of Greater Los Angeles committed to giving 25 percent of funds generated from the Fire Relief Funds event to the American Red Cross® to facilitate immediate relief efforts including shelter, meals, health services and comfort to those affected by the wildfires.
About United Way of Greater Los Angeles:
United Way of Greater Los Angeles is a nonprofit organization fighting to end poverty by preparing students for high school graduation, college, and the workforce, housing our homeless neighbors, and guiding hard-working families towards economic mobility. United Way identifies the root causes of poverty and works strategically to solve them by building alliances across all sectors, funding targeted programs and advocating for change. For more information, visit UnitedWayLA.org and EveryoneInLA.com
About the Los Angeles Rams:
The Los Angeles Rams – Los Angeles’ original professional sports team – stand as one of the oldest franchises in the National Football League and since its founding in 1937, have garnered three World Championships and sent 30 of its members to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In 2017, the Los Angeles Rams clinched the NFC West title and hosted the NFL’s first Playoff game in Southern California in 30 years. As a professional sports team, the organization is committed to being a valuable civic partner and serving the greater Los Angeles area 365 days a year. The team currently hosts games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, with plans to move to a new world-class stadium at the Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment District at Hollywood Park, currently under construction in Inglewood, California, for the 2020 NFL season. For more information visit www.therams.com and follow the Rams’ social media channels.
About CBS 2 / KCAL 9:
CBS-TV is a CBS owned-and-operated television station located in Los Angeles, California. CBS 2 is one of 27 stations owned by the CBS Television Stations subsidiary of CBS Corporation as part of a duopoly with independent station KCAL-TV (channel 9). The two stations share offices and studio facilities inside CBS Studio Center in the Studio City section of Los Angeles, and KCBS-TV’s transmitter is located atop Mount Wilson. For more information visit losangeles.cbslocal.com.
About United Way of Ventura County:
Since 1945, United Way of Ventura County has advanced the common good by creating opportunities for a better life for all. Our focus is on education, income and health, because these are the building blocks for a good quality of life. We support local services and programs that are more than just ‘stop gap’ measures, but rather solutions that help create lasting change. We invite everyone to be part of the change by giving, advocating and volunteering. When we work together in common purpose, we LIVE UNITED. For more information about United Way of Ventura County, visit www.vcunitedway.org.
About United Ways of California:
United Ways of California improves health, education and financial stability results for low-income California families by coordinating the statewide community impact and advocacy work of California United Ways. For more information about United Ways of California, visit www.unitedwaysca.org.
*Individuals may write a check and send it to United Way of Greater Los Angeles, ℅ CBS/KCAL News, 4200 Radford Avenue, Studio City, CA 91604.
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