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The Walt Disney Concert Hall fundraisers continue to deliver as promised.

After vowing to secure a donation equal to or larger than Atlantic Richfield Co.’s $10 million gift, Eli Broad chairman and chief executive of SunAmerica Inc. and a leader of the fundraising effort made good on his word last week.

The campaign fundraisers, who include Broad, Mayor Richard Riordan and Music Center Chairman Andrea Van de Kamp, announced a $15 million donation from the Ralphs/Food 4 Less Foundation and Ron Burkle.

Burkle, managing partner of Yucaipa Cos., the parent company of Ralphs Grocery Co. and Food 4 Less Inc. will personally contribute $7.5 million. The foundation will match his gift. The new donation will be used to build the Ron Burkle-Ralphs/Food 4 Less Foundation Auditorium.

“We expect to make more announcements in the ensuing weeks of various sizes,” Broad told the Business Journal last week. “The mayor and I are spending time on the prospects of getting $5 million or more from (each of) a number of foundations and individuals.”

Broad also is optimistic about getting construction underway soon. “We will be selecting contractors in the ensuing months and construction will begin within a year,” he said.

The latest donation is the second-largest single gift to the Music Center (the Disney family’s original gift of $50 million for the concert hall is the largest) and pushes the fundraising effort over an important milestone.

The campaign was required to raise $52.3 million by June 30 under a plan imposed by the County of Los Angeles, which owns the site on which the proposed concert hall is to be built. Last week’s gift puts the amount donated since the plan was adopted at $52.4 million.

Broad, Riordan and Van de Kamp have set a self-imposed goal of raising $100 million by the June 30 deadline. Van de Kamp has said the campaign has put out enough requests to exceed this goal.

Lillian Disney, widow of the late Walt Disney, had initially funded the concert hall with $50 million in 1987. At the time, it was believed that the donation was enough for the hall’s construction. By 1994, however, cost estimates for completion of the hall had ballooned to $265 million, prompting the creation of a formal fundraising plan with several specific milestones.

Lisa Steen Proctor

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