Bruce Springsteen, Jon Stewart, Jim Gaffigan & more raise $6M at 8th Annual Stand Up For Heroes at Madison Square Garden
#Stand4Heroes Cause Flash led by Toby Keith, Sting, Whoopi Goldberg, Billy Joel, Jordan Sparks and more has social voice that tops 53 million people
NEW YORK, NY (November 6, 2014)
Presented by the New York Comedy Festival, the 8th Annual Stand Up for Heroes, a night of comedy and music, returned last night to a sold-out crowd at the Theater at Madison Square Garden to raise more than $6 million in support of post-9/11 injured service members, veterans and their families through the Bob Woodruff Foundation.
Yet unlike past years, the event enlisted the aid of restaurateurs, celebrities and social media to expand awareness well beyond the Garden with the first-ever Dine Out for Heroes and Cause Flash.
“We’ve always been so proud of Stand Up for Heroes and know what can happen when a movement of generosity inspires thousands more to act,” said Bob Woodruff, the ABC news correspondent who co-founded the Bob Woodruff Foundation after he was critically injured by a roadside bomb while reporting from Iraq. “My wife Lee and I are extremely grateful to those who have joined us in our cause to provide our heroes the resources they need.”
Taking the stage last night were Louis C.K., Jim Gaffigan, John Oliver, Bruce Springsteen, Jon Stewart and Brian Williams. Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, surprised the crowd with his rendition of “New York, New York.”
This year’s event surpassed expectations by besting last year. Springsteen helped raise $600,000 alone by auctioning off two guitars, an hour worth of guitar lessons, and homemade lasagna.
Beyond the recognition of nearly 100 injured service members and their caregivers who were seated in the theater’s front rows, the audience was inspired by the story of Marine Capt. Derek Herrera. Paralyzed from the chest down by a bullet in 2012, while on patrol in Afghanistan, Herrera walked across the stage through the use of an exo-skeleton. The entire crowd stood on its feet during the inspirational interview.
During the show, celebrities including CONAN O’Brien, Sting and Billy Joel urged the world to “take a #Stand4Heroes” via Facebook and Twitter-reaching 50 million so far through a Cause Flash which launched at 8 p.m.
Meanwhile, nearly 200 restaurants signed on to donate $1 for every diner served yesterday. Dine Out for Heroes was spearheaded by Peter and Penny Glazier, founders of the Glazier Group of restaurants, which includes Michael Jordan’s The Steak House NYC in Grand Central Terminal.
Stand Up for Heroes has helped the Bob Woodruff Foundation invest more than $22 million in programs across the country. With 46,000 nonprofits serving veterans in the United States, the Bob Woodruff Foundation prides itself on navigating that maze to find, find and shape innovative programs in three key areas: Education and Employment; Rehabilitation and Recovery; and Quality of Life.