Over $33 million was raised at the annual Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) Western Region Gala last night, breaking all records at the event where more than 1, 200 respected leaders and widely-knownfigures gathered to support the young Israeli men and women of the IDF.
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Those in attendance included the Hollywood business, tech, sports and political communities. Major supporter, Haim Saban, and his wife, Cheryl, served as chairs of the star-studded Gala that took place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA.
Notable donations made at the event included $9 million from Larry Ellison, co-founder and Chairman of Oracle Corporation; $5 million from Sheldon and Miriam Adelson; $5.2 million from brothers Maurice and Paul Marciano of Guess Jeans; $3.6 million from Cheryl and Haim Saban; $2 million from Steve Tisch, Chairman and Executive Vice President of the New York Giants; $1 million from Leo David, founder of the Western Region of the FIDF; and $1.6 million from The Helmsley Charitable Trust.
In addition, first-time attendees and donors Michael and Susan Dell gave $1.8 million to fund IMPACT! educational scholarship programs.
“It is incredibly touching to see how advocacy for the FIDF has grown in Los Angeles, ” said Haim Saban. “The caliber of Gala attendees from Hollywood, tech, business and other walks of life – especially a large contingent of people without ties to Israel or Judaism – ultimately speaks to their admiration for the heroic men and women of the IDF and the incredible work that the FIDF does to support them. Tonight’s Gala has become an event that the Los Angeles community looks forward to each year as a chance to honor the soldiers who defend the State of Israel.”
“In my mind, there is no greater honor than supporting some of the bravest people in the world, and I thank FIDF for providing us with this opportunity year-after-year to celebrate and support these soldiers, ” said Larry Ellison. “These men and women come together with indefatigable purpose, to defend Israel and strive to co-exist in peace.”
The evening began with a cocktail reception, followed by dinner and a program emceed by bestselling author and political analyst, Monica Crowley, and featured unforgettable performances by Ricky Martin, David Foster and Friends and The Canadian Tenors. Among the many participants at the Gala were former Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Barbra Streisand, Sylvester Stallone, Chris Tucker, Pamela Anderson, Kathy Ireland, Joanna Krupa, Avi Arad, Founder of Arad Productions Inc. and Founder and former CEO of Marvel Studios, and his wife Joyce, Avi Lerner, Co-Chairman of NuImage, and Ben Silverman, Founder and CEO of Electus, and his wife Jennifer Cuoco.