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Brad Pitt donates $100,000 for Marriage Equality

By Ben Cable

September 21, 2008, (CMN) - Last week Brad Pitt donated 100,000 dollars to fight the California ballot initiative to overturn the rights of gay and lesbian (same gender) people in the state to marry. Proposition 8 would nullify the marriages that have been recognized since June 2008. Prop 8, is on California’s Novemeber ballot.

Brad Pitt told the Associated Press, "Because no one has the right to deny another their life, even though they disagree with it, because everyone has the right to live the life they so desire if it doesn't harm another and because discrimination has no place in America, my vote will be for equality and against Proposition 8."

Last week, The Giving Back Fund in conjunction with Parade magazine (September 14th) released the second annual Giving Back 30 survey. Based on public records, the survey was a ranking of the celebrities who have made the largest donations to charity. Brad and his wife, Angelina Jolie ranked six on the survey donating $8.4 million in 2007. Oprah Winfrey took top honors on the list of 30 most generous celebrities. She donated $50.2 million dollars followed by Herb Albert, Barbara Streisand, Paul Newman, and Mel Gibson.

Rank

Donor

Amount
Donated or
Pledged

Recipients

1

Oprah
Winfrey

$50,200,000

To the Oprah Winfrey Foundation and Oprah's Angel Network; to "support the
inspiration, empowerment and education of women, children, and families
around the world; to encourage people around the world to make a difference
in the lives of others

2

Herb Alpert

$13,000,000

To The Herb Alpert Foundation. In 2007 the Herb Alpert Foundation distributed
more than $50,000,000 million in grants, which included a $30,000,000 gift to
UCLA. Since 1988  Mr. Alpert has donated more than $100,000,000 million to
the Herb Alpert Foundation

3

Barbra
Streisand

$11,000,000

To the Barbra Streisand Foundation.  The Barbra Streisand Foundation
distributed $16 million in 2007.
Barbra Streisand Foundation, numerous civil liberties, environmental, and civil
rights organizations "dedicated to democratic values"Hawaii Community
Foundation

4

Paul
Newman

$10,005,000

$10 million to Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio from which he graduated, for
a scholarship program; an additional $5,000 to Ypsilanti High School's drama
department

5

Mel Gibson

$9,899,654

To the AP Reilly Foundation, the tax-exempt entity named for his late mother,
which supports Holy Family Catholic Church in Malibu, California

6

Angelina
Jolie and
Brad Pitt

$8,400,000

The Jolie-Pitt Foundation.  $5 million directed to the Make It Right Project -  
new project aims to rebuild 150 homes in the Ninth Ward in New Orleans with
an emphasis on "green" technology with a goal to prove that it can be
replicated elsewhere.  $100k to the Daniel Pearl Foundation, which promotes
cross-cultural understanding through journalism and music. Ms. Jolie starred
in a movie based on his tragic murder; one million gift to help Afghan refugees
in Pakistan

7

Lance
Armstrong

$5,000,000

Pledge to Lance Armstrong Foundation, which unites, inspires and empowers
people affected by cancer over the next 10 years.

7

Michael
Jordon

$5,000,000

To Hales Franciscan High School for the historically African-American all-boys
school

7

Eric Lindros

$5,000,000

$5 million dollars in support of London Health Sciences Centre. The gift is one
of the largest one-time donations ever received by London Health Sciences
Foundation and will support programs at the hospital including the Fowler
Kennedy Sport Medicine Clinic where Eric was treated during his NHL career.

10

Rush
Limbaugh

$4,200,000

To Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation, a charity that provides
financial assistance to the children of fallen Marines and federal law
enforcement officers.

11

Rosie
O'Donnell

$3,515,512

$1,872,970 to early education centers and other child-related programs
funded; $1,000,000 to Rosie's Broadway Kids Initiative; $642,542 to the
Project Katrina Initiative

12

Richard
Jefferson

$3,500,000

To University of Arizona for a new basketball / volleyball facility

13

Jerry
Seinfeld

$3,000,000

To Seinfeld Family Foundation, which distributed more than $2 million to
various charities including Oprah's Angel Network, The American Red Cross,
Autism Speaks and City Year

14

Hugh Hefner

$2,000,000

To University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts to build new
exhibition space

14

Dan Rather

$2,000,000

To Sam Houston State University for scholarships and communications
programs

14

Tom
Shadyac

$2,000,000

Valley Floor Preservation Partners to preserve 570 acres of meadows and
wetlands just outside the entrance to the Victorian-era resort townof Telluride

17

Sam and
Lynn
Waterston

$1,751,000

Established Waterston Family Foundation in August of September 2007;
previously Mr. Waterson was involved in refugee work and is on the Board of
Refugees International

18

Tiger Woods

$1,350,000

To Tiger Woods Learning Center to get students thinking about the role
education plays in their futures

19

Andre Agassi

$1,300,000

To Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation dedicated to transforming U.S. public
education for underserved youth

20

Dwayne "the
Rock"
Johnson

$1,000,000

To The University of Miami's football facilities renovation fund

 

David Kopay

$1,000,000

To the University of Washington's Q center for gay, lesbian, bisexual,
transgender, two-spirit, queer, questioning and intersex students, faculty, and
staff

 

Tracy
McGrady

$1,000,000

To Stand up for Darfur and other related projects; to improve education for
Sudanese Refugees

 

Mike and
Jennifer
Miller

$1,000,000

To establish the Mike and Jennifer Miller Endowment Fund to support Sanford
Children's Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD.

 

Adam
Sandler

$1,000,000

To the Boys and Girls Club in Manchester, NH where he was raised.

 

Steven
Spielberg

$1,000,000

To Not On Our Watch Project established by cast of Ocean's Thirteen; Mr.
Spielberg is Chairman of the Righteous Persons Foundation to which he
makes an undisclosed annual donation

 

Denzel
Washington

$1,000,000

To Wiley College to re-establish the famed debate team on which his movie,
The Great Debators, was based.

27

Isabel
Allende

$869,655

To The Isabel Allende Foundation, which pays homage to her daughter who
passed away at 28; Promotes a vision of a world in which women have
achieved social and economic justice. Also supports healthcare, education,
protection against violence.

28

Jerry and
Karen West

$800,000

To West Virginia University.  Includes $250,000 for the new Athletic Academic
Performance Center in the Coliseum and $300,000 to be divided equally
between the Jerry and Karen West and Ann Dinardi Basketball Scholarship
Fund and the Jerry West Scholarship Fund. The designation for the remaining
funds will be announced at a later date.

29

David and
Valerie
Robinson

$779,499

To the David Robinson Foundation, which supports the Carver Academy,
mentoring programs, hunger programs

30

Richard
Seymour

$724,825

To Richard Seymour BGC  Foundation (Blessing God's Children), which holds
youth camps and health fairs

Source: 2007 Giving Back 30, givingback.org

Giving Back 30 made the following notation, “Donations to private foundations are disclosed in public documents.  However, donations to public charities are not publicly disclosed and therefore may not be reported in the Giving Back 30.”

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