Bette Donates Tour Proceeds To Cleveland Charity

Hard times don’t sap generosity
Leila Atassi
Plain Dealer Reporter

Despite a static economy, Clevelanders’ generosity continues to grow.

Plain Dealer readers’ donations to the 2003 “Holiday Spirit: A Community Fund” reached a record high of $263,300 – an increase of more than 5 percent over the past year’s total.

The program, which is coordinated by The Plain Dealer and offers financial assistance to local social services agencies, had help from a couple of celebrities for this past year’s campaign. Pianist Jim Brickman, a Cleveland native, was heard in commercials on nine radio stations asking Clevelanders to donate to the fund. Also, singer Bette Midler donated $13,000 – $1 per ticket sold for her Jan. 5 “Kiss My Brass” concert.

Holiday Spirit received nearly 100 applications for the 2003 program. Although the effort was just shy of reaching its $265,000 goal, the campaign was able to provide 39 social services agencies with a maximum of $10,000 each. Readers were introduced to the chosen charities through stories published in The Plain Dealer between Thanksgiving and January.

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