Clooney, Katzenberg Back Massive MPTF Fundraising Campaign

MPTF Foundation Chair Jeffrey Katzenberg and George Clooney announced the $350 million campaign at the Polo Lounge Thursday

Last Updated: February 23, 2012 @ 11:28 AM

Jeffrey Katzenberg, George Clooney and Tom Cruise are among the big names that have contributed to the Motion Picture and Television Fund's three-year, $350 million fundraising campaign, the nonprofit organization said Thursday.

The group has already raised $238 million — or 68 percent of the goal — Katzenberg, MPTF Foundation Committee Chairman, said at a press conference at the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

Steve Bing, Barry Diller, Fox Entertainment Group, Todd Phillips, Joe Roth, David Geffen and Kate and Steven Spielberg have also contributed. Clooney is a board member.

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“Thanks to the campaign, we can be certain of one thing: The MPTF safety net will be there,” MPTF CEO Bob Beitcher said.

The money will be used to fund primary health care, build a cash reserve and renovate facilities on the Wasserman Campus in Woodland Hills.

Beitcher said it will also help ensure that the money-losing long-term care facility will remain open, although Beitcher said that the organization continues to look for a healthcare provider and partner to help defray costs.

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In January, the MPTF bowed to pressure and begin admitting new patients. Beitcher said that even if a new partner is not found, the facility will remain open and can hold roughly 40 residents. He said the fundraising drive will be geared toward other services. 

With a nod to the three years of protests and strife that have characterized the organization’s now-abandoned plan to close its long-term care arm, MPTF leadership portrayed the announcement of the capital campaign as a new day for the organization.

Clooney, who became a board member a year ago, told TheWrap that it was important that the organization reposition itself in a sustainable way so that it stops running millions of dollars in deficits.

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During his remarks, the actor said that Katzenberg had encouraged him to get involved in the nonprofit.

“If you think the Sudan is tough,” Clooney joked Katzenberg told him, “try the motion picture home.”

Clooney and others noted during their remarks that the MPTF's mission to provide for industry workers is becoming increasingly urgent. An estimated 75,000 baby boomers are expected to retire from the industry. 

"This is our community," Clooney said. "This is our commitment; to make sure that the MPTF is still standing strong for generations to come."