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Philanthropic Moguls Share a Hole-in-One Friendship

When Sam Gores and Haim Saban met at a Lakers game a decade ago, it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. The Paradigm talent agency chairman and the media mogul have since discovered that they like the same music and travel in many of the same circles. Naturally, they attend each other’s parties. Gores was at Cheryl Saban’s birthday bash when Bill Clinton memorably gushed to Haim’s wife: “Every man here is a little bit in love with you, and no woman resents you for it, because you are fundamentally good.” “It was (a friendship) that should have happened 30 years earlier,” Gores says.

Among the signs of that friendship is Gores’ status as a devoted donor to the Saban Community Clinic, which operates three health centers in Los Angeles County, providing medical and social services to about 100,000 low-income and uninsured people annually. This year, Gores will be honored at the clinic’s 20th annual golf classic. His participation has helped the fundraiser amass a record-breaking total of more than $400,000.

Cheryl, who supports the clinic with her husband, says Gores’ generosity as a donor is consistent with his character. “He puts that kind of energy out there for his friends and for people in the community all the time,” she says. Originally founded as the Los Angeles Free Clinic in 1967, the clinic renamed itself after the Sabans endowed it with $10 million in 2008.

Event chairs Andy and David Friendly started the golf classic 20 years ago, and have seen it bring in more than $4 million. Over the years, the classic has honored such Hollywood heavyweights as Jerry Weintraub, Irving Azoff, Rob Friedman, Patrick Whitesell, John Frankenheimer and Ted Harbert. Gores appreciates the honor, and is happy to be able to help the Sabans’ namesake charity. “A couple of years ago, when I went through a difficult life change, the first person I called was Haim,” Gores says. For Saban, that meant a lot. “He (called) because he trusts me,” Saban says. “Trust is very important.”

What: Saban Community Clinic 20th annual Golf Classic
When: April 27
Where: El Caballero Country Club, Tarzana

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