Bette Midler is encouraging fans to continue supporting Broadway’s coronavirus relief fund by pledging to personally match donations up to $100,000 (£82,500).
Officials at the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund announced the Hello, Dolly! star’s generous gift on Friday, two months after launching the campaign to provide support for theatre workers affected by the global pandemic, which will keep the Great White Way dark until at least early September.
“Between her awe-inspiring talent and boundless generosity, we are so grateful to have Bette as a loyal and true friend of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS,” executive director Tom Viola wrote in a statement.
“As our performing arts community faces unprecedented hardship, her enthusiasm and advocacy allows us to continue providing lifesaving, life-affirming assistance to our friends and neighbours on Broadway and beyond.”
The initial target of the Broadway Cares emergency fund (broadwaycares.org/help2020) was just $250,000 (£206,000), but organisers have repeatedly had to raise the amount after the money continued to pour in.
Donations have since swelled to over $5 million (£4.1 million), with a new goal of $6 million (£5 million).