Fundraiser Raises Over 1.1M for United Way So. Cal Fire Relief Fund
On [November 14] 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.