By NOLA L. SARKISIAN
A who's who of business and political heavyweights turned out last week for a KCET black-tie fund-raiser honoring Eli Broad that raised more than $1 million, a record for the 35-year-old station.
"Our past fund-raisers have brought in $200,000 to $500,000, so this was a wonderful landmark for us," said Barbara Goen, senior vice president of communications for KCET-TV Channel 28.
Goen added that the money will go into the station's operating budget for general use.
Key to the $1 million-plus take, which several professional fund-raisers agreed is an unusually high amount for a one-night event, was the decision to honor Broad with the station's First KCET Visionary Award.
Among the 600-plus attendees at the Regent Beverly Wilshire were Edward Roski Jr., president of Majestic Realty Co., Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa, and John Bryson, chairman of Edison International. Corporate sponsors included Edison, SunAmerica Inc. and American International Group Inc. (Broad is chairman and chief executive of SunAmerica, which is a subsidiary of New York-based AIG).
Co-hosting the event were Mayor Richard Riordan and his wife Nancy Daly, along with Barry Munitz, president and chief executive of the J. Paul Getty Trust.
Fund-raising experts said KCET's decision to link its fund-raiser to a tribute for a well-connected individual is a classic and effective strategy.
"Non-profits are less likely to honor somebody who people don't feel they have a strong need to curry favor with," said Daniel Borochoff, president of the American Institute of Philanthropy in Bethesda, Md. "Call it 'enlightened self-interest.' Broad is somebody who people need to have a good relationship with from those in real estate to those in insurance companies."
Broad said he was "flattered" by the event. "There were a lot of people in the community that I know that had bought tables," he said. "I'm glad my being the honoree helped KCET in their goals."
Attendees paid $1,000 each to dine on gazpacho, lamb chops or filet of halibut and such desserts as cr & #269;me brulee and chocolate opera cake.
KCET, the West Coast flagship station of the Public Broadcasting Service, has an annual budget of $49 million and an average weekly audience of 3.5 million households, including Broad, who has been a donor for 30 years.
"There's a lot of quality programming on the station, when not so much quality programming exists on television," he said.
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