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Samsung’s ‘Hope’ Gala Raises $1M For Charities

New York — Samsung’s Four Seasons of Hope, a charitable endeavor benefiting children and families, held its eighth annual celebrity gala last night at Cipriani Wall Street.

The evening was highlighted by a performance by Grammy Award winner John Legend.

Regis Philbin, returning for his fifth gala, was joined by Bob Costas, returning for his third, in co-hosting the event.

Samsung’s Four Seasons of Hope recognizes the charitable efforts of sports, entertainment and political

notables — including former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Wayne Gretzky, Arnold Palmer, Jimmie Johnson, Boomer Esiason and Dan Marino — through fundraising programs tied to business partners, major retailers such as Best Buy, Sears, the recently added Lowe’s, as well as some of its regional partners.

Legend, who gave a special live performance to more than 500 guests in attendance, was representing his Show Me Campaign, one of the benefiting charities from the evening’s event. The Show Me Campaign’s mission is to end poverty through sustainable development, education and service at the individual, family and community levels. Legend brought along singer songwriter Estelle and his brother Vaughn to help entertain the crowd as both are part of Legend’s new record label, Home School Records.

“All of the charities involved in this event are doing tremendous work, and I applaud their efforts. I was excited to be part of this night,” said Legend, following his performance.

The evening included the annual chalk talk and celebrity-autographed football toss by some of the quarterbacks in attendance.

An online and silent auction of unique experiences and sports memorabilia also helped raise funds for all of the participating foundations and charities. The online auction will continue through June 25.

The night brought together a deep roster of celebrities from the worlds of sports, entertainment and politics, including newly signed New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez and current quarterback Kellen Clemens; the New York Giants’ Amani Toomer; New England Patriots Wes Welker; the New York Jets Kerry Rhodes and Darrelle Revis; Green Bay Packers running back Ryan Grant; former NBA star and current ESPN NBA analyst Jamal Mashburn; TV star Molly Simms; “All My Children’s” Chrishell Stause, Shannon Kane, Brittany Allen and Melissa Claire Egan; music artist and producer Swizz Beatz; recording artists Kelis and Fabolous; Miss USA 2009 Kristen Dalton; Rene Fris of Bravo’s “Shear Genius”; and “America’s Next Top Model” winner Whitney Thompson.

“Samsung’s Four Seasons of Hope is proud to begin its eighth year on such a positive note by raising nearly $1 million for the program’s charities and providing an amazing performance by John Legend who is also a true philanthropist,” said C.S. Choi, president and CEO, Samsung Electronics America. “It is especially exciting and encouraging to see all of our partners and celebrities coming together to benefit children and families. Even during this difficult economic climate, Samsung looks forward to being able to support these charitable efforts as we continue our corporate philanthropy initiatives.”

To date, Samsung’s Four Seasons of Hope program has raised more than $20 million for charity, while winning awards and recognition for its achievements.

Charities benefited by Samsung’s Four Seasons of Hope include:

  • Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children & Women. Located in Orlando, Fla., the hospital offers comprehensive health care services for children and women as well as nationally acclaimed specialty programs including the congenital heart institute, neonatal intensive care unit, the third largest labor and delivery department in the nation and the region’s only Level I trauma center.
  • Boomer Esiason Foundation to Benefit Cystic Fibrosis. Created by Esiason and his wife in 1993 after their son was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, the foundation works to raise money to find a cure for the genetic disease. To date, more than $50 million has been raised for the cause.
  • Jimmie Johnson Foundation. Launched in 2006 with his wife Chandra, the foundation is dedicated to assisting children, families and communities in need. In 2007, the couple opened Jimmie Johnson’s Victory Lanes, a four-lane bowling center for children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses at Victory Junction in Randleman, N.C.
  • St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Centers. Rudy Giuliani’s charitable efforts for St. Vincent’s, one of the New York metropolitan area’s most comprehensive health care systems, serving 600,000 people annually. The system includes nursing homes, hospice, substance-abuse clinics and EMS services across the city.
  • The Dan Marino Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides integrated treatment programs, outreach services, and research of chronic illnesses and developmental disabilities in children.
  • The Wayne Gretzky Foundation, dedicated to helping young people exercise and develop positive life skills through ice hockey.
  • The Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation, created in 2002 to bring educational programs into schools and develop community awareness surrounding the issue of domestic violence.