Hollywood, CA (July 24, 2022) – On Saturday July 23, 2022, Project Angel Food’s LEAD WITH LOVE 3 presented by City National Bank, aired live on KTLA 5 and was a triumph, becoming the highest grossing night in the telethon’s three-year history, with $1,172,970.00, outperforming their million-dollar goal by more than 17%.
Oprah Winfrey opened the show, Richard Gere made a rare television appearance, and Lori Loughlin made her first non-acting television appearance in more than three and a half years. The night was filled with fan favorites, celebrity messages, an All-Star Phone Bank of celebrities taking donor calls, and musical performances.
Will & Grace star Eric McCormack and KTLA Morning News anchor Jessica Holmes returned to host the annual televised event and were joined by Loni Love and Alec Mapa who also returned as dynamic co-hosts.
Executive produced by television veteran, Brad Bessey, along with Michael Levitt, Ayoub, KTLA’s Marcus Smith and Jacob Burch, and Mark McBride, sponsorships, the live two-hour fundraising special was jam-packed with surprises, energy and fun. Bessey says, “Over dinner with Eric several months ago, he mentioned in passing he would love our show to have more of a ‘variety feel’ this year, so we ran with it. I think we delivered with humor and heart.”
The All-Star Phone Bank, emceed by Mapa, created the most unpredictable and entertaining segments of the night with Melissa Peterman, Michelle Visage, Kim Coles, Jai Rodriguez, Beth Hall, Mary-Margaret Humes, Lawrence Zarian, and Gregory Zarian talking to donors throughout the night and creating comedy chaos along the way.
In addition to Dayne and Gibson’s live performances, musical highlights included Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo performing “We Belong,” Sarah McLachlan performing, “I Will Remember You,” Five for Fighting performing, “World,” and Josh Groban performing, “Angels.”
Celebrity messages flooded in from supporters Bryce Dallas Howard, Sharon Stone, Whoopi Goldberg, Eugene Levy, Gloria Estefan, Karamo, Holland Taylor, Henry Winkler, Fran Drescher, Tyler Henry, Danny Pino, Cheryl Burke, Rachel Lindsay, Ross Mathews, and Jonathan Del Arco.
Ayoub reflected, “With inflation and rising food insecurity among L.A.’s critically ill population, it is so encouraging to see Los Angeles step up to help us rise to the challenge.” Donations are still being accepted for LEAD WITH LOVE 3, at angelfood.org/love.
LEAD WITH LOVE has been renewed by KTLA and City National Bank through 2024. Sponsors for LEAD WITH LOVE 3 presented by City National Bank include City National Bank, Herb Ritts Foundation, Amazon/Glamazon, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and Yaamava’ Resort & Casino at San Manuel, Audacy Radio, Ralphs•Food 4 Less, The National Rongxiang Xu Foundation & Human Heritage Project, The Chuck Lorre Family Foundation, Wen by Chaz Dean, Michael Libow, Wells Fargo Foundation, David Vickter Foundation and Retrouvé. COVID 19 rapid tests were generously donated by 911 COVID Testing and administered onsite by their team of professionals.
Project Angel Food feeds critically ill men, women and children in Los Angeles County. The organization delivers Medically Tailored Meals, with care and compassion, directly to the client’s homes. More than 2,500 vulnerable Angelenos are fed daily, with over 1.2 million meals delivered each year.
To learn more about Project Angel Food, please visit www.angelfood.org.