You know, I thought Sean Penn and Bill Clinton were hot stuff earlier this year when the duo raised over $6 million at their Hope for Haiti fundraiser the day before the Golden Globe awards. It was an incredible party and an impressive number. Well, turn that sum on its head a few times and you have the amount media mogul Haim Saban raised last Thursday night at the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces Gala (FIDF). The final tally came in at a whopping $34.5 million (ahem, $1.5 mil over what they raised last year). FIDF initiates and supports educational, cultural, social, and recreational programs and facilities for Israel’s Defense Forces as well as supports the families of fallen or wounded soldiers.
As he has in years past, Saban led the evening’s live auction, during which music man David Foster talked former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords into singing “Country Roads” and Jason Alexander to warble “Memories” on the spot. He also talked KISS’s Gene Simmons into belting out “Rock and Roll All Night.” The Beach Boys closed out the impressive evening. Famous folk in attendance Foster didn’t ask to sing? Mark Wahlberg and Antonio Banderas. We bet he could have raked in an even $40 million if he got Wahlberg to rap the Funky Bunch classic “Good Vibrations.”