Thanks to the generous donations of contributors and the support of celebrity comedian Jay Leno, the first annual Los Angeles Gala of Friends of United Hatzalah on Thursday raised enough money to buy 100 specially designed, fast-response medically outfitted ambucycles and 100 defibrillator machines.
United Hatzalah of Israel is a nonprofit organization whose 5,000 volunteers are available to respond to emergencies at all times, often arriving on medical motorcycles that enable them to reach emergency situations faster than traditional ambulances, and allows them greater access to locations not easily accessible by ambulances.
The organization estimates that it saves approximately 100 lives a day and treats anyone, regardless of race, religion or gender.
Leno was awarded the United Hatzalah Humanitarian Award for his support for the organization over the course of several years, including frequent invitations to Hatzalah officials to tour his famous collector car and motorcycle garage.
During the event, Leno delivered a comedy routine centered on his affinity for the Jewish people and Israel. He also made a donation, inviting anyone who made a substantial contribution that evening to take a tour of his garage with him.
The total contributions raised that evening reached $5 million.
Leno has expressed his public support for Israel on multiple occasions and has hosted the 2014 Genesis Prize awards in Jerusalem.