How appealing is the cause of the Parkland students who organized a “March for Our Lives” rally against gun violence in Washington next month?
In just one day, the student activists have seen Hollywood’s biggest names promise to cut checks for $500,000 apiece. And some have offered to march alongside the students, supporting their cause after 17 people were killed in a Valentine’s Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
On Tuesday, George and Amal Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw, and Jeffrey and Marilyn Katzenberg pledged half-a-million each. That’s a total of $2 million in just one day.
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After the Clooneys made the first pledge, Winfrey, who had a home in South Florida for years, tweeted that the student organizers inspire her and remind her of Civil Rights activists in the 1960s.
“George and Amal, I couldn’t agree with you more. I am joining forces with you and will match your $500,000 donation to ‘March For Our Lives.’ These inspiring young people remind me of the Freedom Riders of the ’60s who also said we’ve had ENOUGH and our voices will be heard,” Winfrey tweeted Tuesday.
Earlier in the day, the Clooneys said that they were inspired by the survivors-turned-activists from Stoneman Douglas and would join the students’ march scheduled for March 24 in Washington, D.C.
“Amal and I are so inspired by the courage and eloquence of these young men and women from Stoneman Douglas High School,” their statement read. “Our family will be there on March 24 to stand side by side with this incredible generation of young people from all over the country.”
“The Post” director Spielberg and his wife, actress Capshaw, also matched the Clooneys’ $500,000. So did film producer and studio executive Katzenberg and his wife Marilyn. The couple said they would join the Clooneys at the Parkland students’ March For Our Lives event.
“The young students in Florida and now across the country are already demonstrating their leadership with a confidence and maturity that belies their ages,” Capshaw and Spielberg said, reported Deadline Hollywood. “Kate and I applaud their efforts to take a stand for the benefit of this and future generations. They are an inspiration to us all, and we are joining in this movement with a donation of $500,000.”
Pop star Barry Manilow is also pitching in. On Tuesday, Hard Rock Live and Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino announced that it would donate ticket sales proceeds from his concert Wednesday night in Hollywood to the Parkland victims’ families. At the South Florida show, Manilow dedicated his performance of his 1980 hit, “I Made It Through the Rain,” to the Parkland community.
The Parkland students’ GoFundMe campaign, started by junior Cameron Kasky on Sunday with a goal of $1.5 million, has raised $1.04 million from more than 14,000 donors on its own, even without the celebs’ deep pockets.