This week, the American Friends of Magen David Adom (AFMDA) hosted its first gala in Los Angeles to raise money for a new national blood center in Israel. The star-studded inaugural event, which included performances from singer-songwriter Neil Sedaka and support from celebs like Michelle Williams, raised an impressive $3.8 million that will fund emergency medical services in the country.
Dina and Fred Leeds, members of the Israel advocacy group StandWithUs, were honored with the AFMDA Humanitarian Award. The organization's regional board member Gaby Bashner received the Woman of Valor Lifetime Achievement Award, while Leba Sherman was honored with the Woman of Valor Next Generation Award.
According to the AFMDA, the amount raised at the gala is the most gathered at any single AFMDA event. Although the MDA is government-mandated, it is not funded by the Israeli government and so relies on private donors to continue providing national emergency response, blood services, and ambulance. Due to a growing population and the current blood center's vulnerability to terror as well as natural attacks, the MDA hopes to build a new and more secure center.
To learn more about the AFMDA and the work they do, visit afmda.org.
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