FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 14, 2010
LOS ANGELES - The Trust for Public Land (TPL) and Los Angeles City Council Member Tom LaBonge today announced they have 16 more days and a $500,000 challenge grant to raise the final $1 million needed to save the view of the famous Hollywood Sign by preserving 138 acres of land behind the sign.
Aileen Getty and The Tiffany & Co. Foundation said today they will join to make a $500,000 matching grant to challenge the California community to close the gap. Ms. Getty and the Tiffany Foundation, both of whom had each previously donated $1 million to the campaign, will make their gifts if TPL raises an additional $1 million.
"We need to raise a total of $12.5 million and today, we're at $11 million," said Will Rogers, TPL President. "Our deadline was originally set for today, April 14, but thanks to the cooperation of the landowners, we now have until April 30. The challenge grant is designed to inspire California donors to take part in this campaign."
"We're grateful to have a little more time to reach our goal, and we're going to get there," Councilmember LaBonge said. "Thank you to everyone who is helping us preserve this pristine hillside for the future of Los Angeles."
Aileen Getty, a long time Hollywood resident, has supported this project since early on in the campaign. "I'm proud to support TPL's efforts in conserving this magical place and hope that this challenge will inspire others in LA to help us close the gap. From this point on, every donation, from bake sales to on line contributions to lead level gifts, will be matched $1 to $2 until we raise the final million."
"With the matching gift from The Tiffany & Co. Foundation, we reassert its mission to preserve our natural heritage and important landmarks," said Michael J. Kowalski, chairman and CEO of Tiffany & Co. "We wholeheartedly support The Trust for Public Land, our partners in the Campaign to Save Cahuenga Peak, and I am confident that this historic site will remain a wildlife habitat and the home of a great American icon."
There has been a groundswell of support in Los Angeles, including residents who held bake sales, rallies, and a concert on the Sunset Strip
Hollywood leaders donated $3.1 million, including major donations from The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, CBS Corporation, The Entertainment Industry Foundation, Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall, the Lucasfilm Foundation, NBC Universal, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Steven Spielberg, Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Time Warner Inc., and The Walt Disney Company Foundation. Other Hollywood contributors include Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, and Norman Lear.
In addition, the artists from the new online entertainment show "If I Can Dream" will step out as the next generation of Hollywood to spread the word, and lend their voices to the campaign. The weekly show, created by Simon Fuller and carried on Hulu, has championed the cause to a global online audience, which includes fans in 180 countries. The artists on "If I Can Dream" recognize the Hollywood Sign as a symbol of the hopes and dreams of everyone who dreams of "making it" in Hollywood.
The Carl W. Johnson Foundation has contributed $100,000. "The Carl W. Johnson Foundation is thrilled to partner with The Trust for Public Land to help Save Cahuenga Peak. Parks and open space are important for the health and well being of all the people of Los Angeles, and we are proud to be a financial supporter in the effort," said Wallace Franson, President of the Foundation.
Individuals may donate online at www.savehollywoodland.org, or with their cell phones by texting the word LAND to the number 50555 to give $5. When prompted, reply with YES to confirm the gift. Standard messaging and data rates may apply
On Facebook, more than 25,000 have signed up as fans, and Kimpton Hotels, a long-time corporate supporter of TPL, offered to donate $1 for every fan who also became a Facebook fan of Kimpton.
On April 15, 2009, TPL signed an option to buy the 138 acres behind, and to the left, of the "H" in the sign, stretching west to Cahuenga Peak. When TPL buys the land, it will be added to the city of Los Angeles and added to Griffith Park.
The land was originally purchased by industrialist Howard Hughes in 1940, to build a home for actress Ginger Rogers. But the relationship between the two fell apart and after Hughes died, his estate sold the property in 2002 to a group of Chicago investors. They put the property on the market two years ago for $22 million. It is zoned to build four luxury homes.
Besides TPL, Tiffany and Ms. Getty, other partners include the Hollywood Sign Trust, the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, the Los Angeles Parks Foundation, and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.
TPL is a national, nonprofit land conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, historic sites, rural lands, and other natural places. Since 1972, TPL has completed 4,500 projects in 47 states, protecting 2.8 million acres. Visit www.tpl.org
Media contact: Tim Ahern, 415-710-9095