Free Clinic Fundraiser

What hard times?

The economic recession proved no barrier to fundraising for The Saban Free Clinic among Hollywood’s elite on Nov. 24 at the Beverly Hilton. Among those who helped raise $1.3 million for the affordable health care clinic with four locations across the city were: CBS CEO Les Moonves and wife, CBS news anchor Julie Chen, Wes Craven, Garry Marshall, Bruce Rosenblum, president of Warner Bros. television. and of course, the clinic’s namesakes, Cheryl and Haim Saban, who had previously donated $10 million to The Los Angeles Free Clinic, which was subsequently renamed.

Cheryl Saban has a special relationship to the clinic, the place where she and her two children received medical care more than 25 years ago, as Brad Greenberg wrote in March 2008. Back then, Saban was a divorced mother with a low-paying job and no health care. When she married Egyptian-born media billionaire Haim Saban, the clinic became a philanthropic priority.

In the meantime, before Washington can get their plan straight, Hollywood is heaping healthcare upon the underserved communities of Los Angeles.

Plus, there’s nothing like Barry Manilow’s a capella to inspire the box office bosses to give.

From Variety:

Besides raising $1.3 million for the Saban Free Clinic, the BevHilton dinner Nov. 24 answered the question: Can Barry Manilow sing a cappella? He could indeed, to loud applause after his piano was found to be unplayable.

Though the piano malfunctioned, other parts of the evening including remarks from Cheryl Saban, Tom and Ellen Hoberman, Bob Saget, Dana Walden, and a touching video tribute intro’d by Norm Crosby to the late Bernie Brillstein, went smoothly.

The evening also drew many TV honchos including Leslie Moonves, Kevin Reilly and honoree Warner TV prexy Bruce Rosenblum.