Streisand opens her home for women’s heart health
In an elegantwhite tent at her oceanfront Malibu compound, Barbra Streisand sang and former President Bill Clinton spoke to a crowd gathered to raise funds for women’s heart health.
Guests paid as much as $100,000 per couple to support the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center at the intimate fundraising dinner on Thursday at the home Streisand shares with her husband, James Brolin.
The singer donated $10 million to create the research and treatment facility at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and solicited million-dollar donations from wealthy friends she called personally. Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone, NBC Universal chief Ron Meyer, designer Donna Karan and actors Josh Brolin (Streisand’s stepson) and Diane Lane were among the donors and guests.
Streisand said she was motivated to contribute to women’s heart health because she “can’t stand inequality, whether it’s about civil rights, gay rights or gender discrimination.”
Heart disease kills more women each year than all cancers combined, but most of the research on the disease for the past five decades has been conducted on men.
“Even in scientific research, women are still treated as second-class citizens,” Streisand said, “and to me, that’s just unacceptable.”
So she raised her voice and opened her wallet, and invited her friends to do the same.
“It’s kind of a selfish thing, because it’s actually very fulfilling, to do something like that that’s larger than me or my career,” she said, acknowledging that her fellow donors must feel the same way.
Clinton saluted Streisand for her commitment to women’s health.
“I never thought anybody could care a lot about more things than I care a lot about. She makes me look like a heartless dumb piker,” he said. “Unless your heart has been taken out of your body, you need to care about this.”
Streisand sang four songs, including the Oscar- and Grammy-winning Evergreen, which she dedicated to Clinton. He told her in 1992 that it was his favourite song of hers, and she sang it at his inauguration.