Fran Drescher, Ashton Kutcher and Gerard Butler at the FIDF Western Region Gala.
(photo credit: NOAM CHEN)
Friends of the IDF held their annual Western Region Gala in Los Angeles with Ashton Kutcher and Pharrell Williams in attendance, where they raised over 60 million dollars for the well being of Israeli soldiers and celebrated Israel's 70th anniversary, according to an FIDF press release.
The star-studded gala was held at the landmark Beverly Hilton Hotel, where the FIDF raised the most money they ever have in one event throughout the entirety of the organization's history. An event in which 1,200 supporters, many of whom celebrities, attended the gala. Notable celebrities in attendance in addition to Kutcher and Williams included Gerard Butler (300), Andy Garcia (The Untouchables), Fran Drescher (The Nanny), Rona-Lee Shim'on (Fauda) and Yaakov Zada Daniel (Fauda).
The event featured a special performance by Pharrell Williams and presented a program that told the 70-year history of Israel through the accounts of soldiers and other eyewitnesses.
“We are thrilled that so many members of our community, including major Hollywood figures, are coming together to help us support the brave men and women of the IDF.” said FIDF National Board Member and Chairman of the event Haim Saban.
Experiences of IDF paramedics were highlighted for the evening and shared throughout the night. Including, the accounts of Staff Sgt. Yotam, a paramedic in the Paratroopers’ Brigade, Staff Sgt. Erez, who served as a combat medic in the “Egoz” unit of the Golani Brigade during the 2014 Operation Protective Edge and Lt. Noam, a paramedic in the Armored Corps.
“We are so deeply grateful to FIDF for the commendable support they provide the real heroes of Israel, the men and women on the front lines, and The Fellowship is proud to be their partner in this vital mission.” said President of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews Rabbi Eckstein - who was a five million dollar donor in last night's record breaking fundraiser.
The 60 million dollars will go to services such as academic scholarships for combat veterans, financial aid for soldiers in-need, Lone Soldier support and assistance to wounded veterans and the families of fallen soldiers. Additional programs the FIDF will be able to fund
with the donations includes weeks off for entire IDF units, as well as educational, cultural and recreational facilities for the soldiers.
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