MAY 26, 2011--- LOS ANGELES, CA--KCET, the nation's largest independent public media company serving Southern and Central California, announced today that $70,495 was raised during its live televised benefit for Japan--100% of which will go toward relief efforts in the region most affected by the earthquake and tsunami disasters. The show aired May 24, 2011 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., during which Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa made a special appearance.
The show will be rebroadcast on Saturday, May 28, 2011 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Donations can continue to be made by calling 888-202-2750.
Hosted by KTLA's Frank Buckley, Fox 11's Susan Hirasuna and actress Lily Mariye, KCET's live telecast included several leaders from the Los Angeles community, including LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Consul General Junichi Ihara, actor George Takei, LA Deputy Police Chief Terry Hara and U.S.-Japan Council's Bryan Takeda, among others.
KCET held the fundraiser for Japan following the devastating magnitude 9 earthquake and tsunami that continues to leave lives there in ruin.
"Congratulations to the people of Los Angeles for rallying together to help ease the suffering of families in the devastated areas of Japan. Your generosity is admirable," said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
"We are thrilled to be able to facilitate such a significant contribution to help those in continued need in Japan. Although we're not surprised at the charity of our viewers, we are certainly very thankful," said Al Jerome, KCET's president and CEO. "We are particularly grateful to our distinguished guests who gave their time last night and shared their personal experiences of how the disaster has affected their lives, and to our distribution partner NHK World for allowing us to re-air its disaster coverage."
"We are extremely appreciative to KCET, their audience, and the impressive show of leaders and dignitaries from the Los Angeles community who came out to help raise such a substantial sum for Japan Relief," said Bryan Takeda of the U.S.-Japan Council. "Following Saturday's rebroadcast we will work to disburse the total amount raised directly to NGOs in the Sendai region of Japan."
Full list of guests who attended last night's show includes:
• LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa• KTLA Newsman Frank Buckley (host)
• Fox 11 News anchor/reporter Susan Hirasuna (host)
• Japanese American Actress/filmmaker Lily Mariye (host)
• Japanese American Actor George Takei• Consul General Junichi Ihara of the Consulate-General of Japan Los Angeles
• Chief Terry Hara, Deputy Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department
• Bryan Takeda of the U.S.-Japan Council
• Chris Komai of the Japanese American National Museum
• Lalit Acharya, International Relations officer from Riverside, sister city to Sendai, Japan
• Dr. Kozue Shimabukuro, a pediatrician who was working on the Peds disaster team in Japan.
• Mark Benthien, Southern California Earthquake Center
On-air, online and in the community, KCET plays a vital role in the cultural and educational enrichment of Southern and Central California. KCET offers a wide range of award-winning local programming as well as the finest public television programs from around the world. KCET currently produces the Emmy®, duPont-Columbia and Peabody Award-winning SoCal Connected, a hard-hitting prime-time weekly television news program that examines the issues and people of Southern California. Throughout its more than 40-year history, KCET has won hundreds of major awards for its local and regional news and public affairs programming, its national drama and documentary productions, its quality educational family and children's programs, its outreach and community services and its website, kcet.org. KCET is a donor-supported community institution. For additional information about KCET productions, Web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community events, please visit kcet.org