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Samsung Charity Event Crosses Political Aisle

6/19/2003 02:42:00 PM Eastern

New York - Samsung Electronics brought together former President William Clinton and former New York City Mayor Rudolph Guiliani to help raise donations for Samsung's 'Four Seasons of Hope' crusade.

The event, which raised over $200,000 from organizations and companies who attended a gala luncheon at the Cipriani Hotel here, promoted foundations represented by the following four legends of professional sports:

  • The NBA's Earvin 'Magic' Johnson, who runs the Magic Johnson Foundation for HIV/AIDS Prevention with an expanded mission to serve inner city youth.

  • Major League Baseball's Joe Torre, who heads the Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation which 'develops and funds educational programs that will end the cycle of domestic violence and save lives.'

  • The NFL's Boomer Esaison, who heads the Boomer Esaison Foundation, which raises funds to fight cystic fibrosis, a fatal genetic respiratory disease which afflicts his son Gunnar.

  • The PGA's Arnold Palmer, who heads the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Women, one of only six hospitals in the country dedicated to serving the 'the unique needs of children and women.'

During the event, Samsung arranged to have Clinton introduce Johnson and Guiliani introduce Torre. The meeting of the politicians from opposite parties sparked gossip in local newspapers that morning that special arrangements were demanded from one or both parties to ensure the two men would not be present in the same room at the same time.

As luck would have it, however, Clinton and Guiliani did meet and politely shook hands as Guiliani entered the event while Clinton made his exit.

NBC sports announcer and talk show host Bob Costas appeared as the day's emcee.

The Samsung Four Seasons of Hope initiative was launched in 2002 with the mission of raising awareness and funds through national retail promotions with Best Buy, Radio Shack, Sears and CompUSA. In the past year, the program has raised over $1 million for charity.