Southern California breaking news and trends

Superstorm Sandy relief efforts: 5 ways you can help in Los Angeles

Superstorm Sandy

Julio Cortez/AP

A rollercoaster that once sat on the Funtown Pier in Seaside Heights, N.J., rests in the ocean on Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012. The pier was washed away by superstorm Sandy which made landfall Monday evening.

Disaster relief is underway for victims of the Superstorm formerly known as Hurricane Sandy. Communities destroyed by the landmark landfall will get some much needed assistance from the West Coast this weekend via a number of traditional and untraditional fundraising efforts. 

The Walt Disney Co. announced Thursday a commitment of $2 million toward disaster relief and rebuilding efforts. For people with shallower pockets who still want to help, below is a list of ways to donate buckets of your own duckets to the all-too-literal Sandy bail out.

(Leave us a message in the comments about other local benefits and fundraisers.)

1. NBC Universal Telethon - "Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together"

The one-hour telethon/concert aired Friday on NBC Universal stations — NBC, Bravo, CNBC, E!, G4, MSNBC, Style, Syfy, USA — and streamed online (you can view a replay here). Money collected will be donated to the American Red Cross. 


This tuba shall pass: Fundraiser to replace stolen instruments

sousaphone tuba

Photo by TAZphotos via Flickr Creative Commons

Local restaurant owner and Whittier High alum, Joe Garcia, announced a one-day fundraiser to help replace the four band tubas and mouthpieces that marched out of Whittier High School in late June.

Thieves broke into the music room leaving behind a handwritten note and $20,000 in replacement costs. Without a budget to replace the instruments, the school was looking at their remaining tubas -- described as decades-old and in various states of disrepair -- as the only option unless they received help from private donations.

Garcia's event takes place Monday July 16 at Famous Joe’s Legendary Mexican Food, 15334 Whittier Blvd., from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Half of all proceeds, including gift card sales, will be donated to the Whittier High School Band Program.

KPCC asked the restaurant owner how the response had been in the first hour. "We're getting a flow in and seeing the effects of getting the word out, and the effects of social media," Garcia said.


Obama-related traffic brings out 'The Californians' in us


Mark J. Terrill/AP

President Barack Obama waves as he arrives at Los Angeles International Airport, Thursday, May 10, 2012, in Los Angeles. Obama returns June 6 for a series of campaign fundraisers.

President Barack Obama is scheduled to attend fundraisers on Wednesday and Thursday in Los Angeles, bringing out The Californians in all of us. Translation: Let's talk about traffic.

In advance of LA Pride weekend, Obama is scheduled to arrive at LAX on Wednesday afternoon around 4:20 p.m. (provided no one violates his airspace again).

His two-day jaunt includes three re-election campaign fundraisers -- LGBT Leadership Council Gala in Beverly Hills, dinner at the home of "Glee'' co-creator Ryan Murphy, and a breakfast fundraiser at the home of developer Charles Quarles.

Westside traffic is expected to do the ol' jam and detour near Beverly Hills and Century City starting Wednesday afternoon, say police. The Beverly Hills Police Department is warning drivers of traffic delays and intermittent street closures.


O Bama, Where Art Thou? George Clooney to host Democratic fundraiser at LA home

Win McNamee/Getty Images

George Clooney and Barack Obama discussing Darfur at The National Press Club Newsmaker's Program on April 27, 2006 in Washington, DC.

George Clooney will be hosting a high-end house party next month in Los Angeles as a fundraiser to support President Barack Obama's re-election campaign.

About 150 guests are expected to attend the May 10 event at the actor's home, Entertainment Tonight first reported.

Proceeds from ticket sales -- going for about $40,000 per stub -- will benefit the Obama Victory Fund, a joint committee that includes several state Democratic parties, the Democratic National Committee, and Obama for America.

In addition to deep-pocket ticket holders, four mystery guests will also be attending the event. Two grassroots supporters will each win a pair of passes to the fundraiser, said deputy campaign manager Julianna Smoot in an email on Thursday. 

The re-election campaign, taking a suspense cue from Hollywood, is automatically offering donors of $3 or more a chance to mingle with Clooney and the president by winning an invitation to the party.