Motion Picture Television Fund board member George Clooney this morning announced the launch of a $350 million fundraising drive at the organization over the next three years. During a breakfast at the Polo Lounge in Beverly Hills, MPTF brass said that $238 million has already been raised in the effort, with key contributions from the likes of Clooney, Steve Bing, Tom Cruise, Barry Diller, Fox Entertaiment Group, David Geffen, Michael Lewis, Jerry Perenchio, Joe Roth, Jeffrey and Marilyn Katzenberg, Todd Phillips, Patrick Soon-shiong, Thomas Tull and John Wells, among others. That’s in addition to the $100 million already on hand according to Katzenberg, chairman of the MPTF Foundation. Over the past 20 years, the fund has raised $200 million. MPTF president Bob Beitcher said the fundraising push comes as an 75,000 baby boomers will be retiring from the industry over the next 20 years. “This is a safety net for them,” he said this morning. The fund’s biggest fundraising event of the year, the annual “Night Before” Oscar party, is set for Saturday at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
It’s always been a mixed bag of news at the MPTF — Clooney, a board member for a year, said today that Katzenberg told him, “If you think the Sudan is tough, just try the MPTF.” The organization that provides long-term health care and services for members of the entertainment industry was fined $80,000 by the state yesterday for its part in the death of a patient in 2010. Beitcher addressed the citation this morning, saying the MPTF brought in outside safety consultants and conducted special training for staff so “this won’t happen again,” he said. “This is important but is ancient history for us.” The Woodland Hills-based nursing facility last month announced that it had reorganized enough to reverse a 2009 decision to shut it down — a move that drew criticism and lawsuits. The reopened facility will house as many as 40 patients at any given time going forward. Last week, the MPTF also announced a tie-up with UCLA Health System and its Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital that will offer a geriatric psychiatry unit at the fund’s Wasserman Campus. It will provide inpatient and outpatient services and is expected to be up and running in early 2013.