More than 1,700 of City of Hope’s most prominent, longtime supporters from the music and entertainment industries gathered Jan. 13 to honor AEG top executive Tim Leiweke with City of Hope’s Spirit of Life® Award. The event culminated a highly successful $8.6 million fundraising effort for 2009.
|California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, left, and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, right, congratulate Tim Leiweke. (Photo by Lester Cohen)|
Guests including City of Hope supporters, past Spirit of Life honorees and Music and Entertainment Industry leaders feted Leiweke, AEG’s president and chief executive officer, at the grand opening of The Ritz-Carlton and J.W. Marriot Hotels at L.A. LIVE. A dramatic building lighting ceremony on the east side of the Ritz-Carlton hotel not only marked the grand opening of the hotels, but also recognized City of Hope by spelling out its name in lights.
“Tim’s tremendous generosity and support helps give new hope to patients who need it,” said Britta Bucholz, senior director of development. “Together, AEG and City of Hope will continue to give research patients greater hope and a chance to live longer, better lives, one patient at a time.”
Over the past year, AEG and City of Hope created various influential efforts to support innovative science and lifesaving research and treatments, such as the Los Angeles Kings’ “Month of Hope,” nationwide tours by stars from the television shows “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance,” and a series of events called “Final Quarter for Hope” at AEG venues across the country.
“It’s an honor to be recognized by an institution that is redefining the future of medicine and helping to make diseases like cancer curable, and one day preventable,” said Leiweke. “City of Hope’s groundbreaking research continues to improve the lives of patients everywhere who face life-threatening diseases.”
Presenters at the Spirit of Life gala included Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, actress Mary Hart, comedian Jimmy Kimmel, businessman and former professional athlete Magic Johnson and pediatric patient Kennedy Kraus, who presented Leiweke with The Spirit of Life Award. The event also featured a live performance by Jon Bon Jovi.
The Spirit of Life presenting sponsor was San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino, and Flexjet was the official jet sponsor for the event.