(Billy Porter. Photo Courtesy of the Los Angeles LGBT Center)
With donations still rolling in and being tabulated, the Los Angeles LGBT Center is approaching the $1.3 million mark in support from its first-ever live telethon Love in Action which aired on KTLA 5 and livestreamed worldwide on Saturday, September 12, from 7–9 p.m.
The incredible two-hour fundraising show, presented by The Ariadne Getty Foundation, earmarked the Center’s inaugural effort to raise money for its vital programs and services during the COVID-19 pandemic through a live television event—an unprecedented venture for any LGBT organization in the nation.
Co-hosted by Emmy-Award winning actress and former member of the Center’s Board of Directors Jane Lynch and KTLA 5 news anchor Cher Calvin and with drag superstar Manila Luzon emceeing the in-studio tote board as the telethon’s “Cash Queen,” Love in Action showcased appearances and performances by a roster of A-list entertainers including: Cher, Billy Porter, Cyndi Lauper, Sia, Margaret Cho, Jay Leno, Lily Tomlin, Melissa Etheridge, k.d. lang, RuPaul, Jenifer Lewis, Meredith Vieira, Leslie Odom Jr., Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Andrew Rannells, Pauley Perrette, Billy Eichner, Tyler Oakley, Wilson Cruz, Anthony Rapp, Miss Coco Peru, Shangela, Ariadne Getty, Gigi Gorgeous, Nats Getty, August Getty, Brian Michael Smith, Peter Paige, Bruce Vilanch, Alec Mapa, Alexandra Billings, Frankie Grande, Marizol Leyva, Selenis Leyva, Trans Chorus of Los Angeles, Tonality, Carla Gugino, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, and Ilana Glazer.
“When we approached KTLA 5 just over two months ago with a proposal for a live telethon to benefit our community during COVID-19, we had no idea what to expect or how much money we were going to raise. I am overjoyed to say that the telethon exceeded our expectations—we are astounded not only by the enormous amount of money we raised but also by the outpouring of compassion and generosity shown by the viewers in Los Angeles and around the world,” said Center CEO Lorri L. Jean. “The money we generated in support of our telethon began being used the very next day to help some of the most vulnerable people in Los Angeles, which means the Center can continue to serve as a first-responder for the LGBTQ community during the pandemic. A heartfelt thank you to our friends in the entertainment industry who lent their time and talent for this urgent cause. And extra special gratitude to the always compassionate and determined Ariadne Getty for her foundation’s generous support. On that magical evening, we collectively showed the true power of love in action that will reverberate throughout the LGBTQ community for months to come!”
Donations are still being accepted online at lalgbtcenter.org/love. The telethon may be viewed in its entirety online at lalgbtcenter.org/watch.
Nearly 80,000 people watched Love in Action globally through its livestream on Facebook. According to KTLA 5, preliminary reports indicate that the telethon had an average television viewership of 26,000 people tuned in every 15 minutes.
Presenting Sponsor was The Ariadne Getty Foundation; Diamond Sponsor was Citi; Silver Sponsors were Morgan Stanley and U.S. Bank; Bronze Sponsors were Bank of America, Gilead Sciences, Marilyn & Jeffrey Katzenberg, Pacific Federal, and WarnerMedia; Official Airline Partner was American Airlines.