LOS ANGELES — Betty Ford Center managers learned this week that the former first lady’s final wishes call for the rehab center that bears her name to receive $500,000 in donations.
Betty Ford authorized a $400,000 donation in her final will, which was signed three weeks before her July 8 death, the center said in a statement released late Wednesday. The facility, which is based in Rancho Mirage, Calif., about 120 miles east of Los Angeles, will also receive another $100,00 from a foundation former President Gerald Ford and his wife founded a decade ago.
The center was co-founded by Betty Ford in 1982 and it has treated nearly 100,000 patients, including numerous Hollywood celebrities, for drug and alcohol dependency. Despite its high-profile clientele, the facility remains one of the most respected treatment centers in the United States.
The outspoken former first lady for years personally greeted patients at the center and remained a high-profile advocate for treatment solutions, especially for women.
She granted the Betty Ford Center last year rights to use her name forever, the facility said.
“Mrs. Ford was and always will be the heart and soul of this place of healing,” Mary Pattiz, chairman of the Betty Ford Center Board of Directors. “It means so much to us that after all she had given over the past 30 years, the center was still front and center in her mind during her final days.”
Christina Aguilera to perform at Michael Jackson tribute concert
LOS ANGELES — Christina Aguilera is lending her voice to a Michael Jackson tribute concert planned for October in Wales.
Organizers of “Michael Forever — The Tribute Concert” announced Thursday that Aguilera would be joined by members of the Jackson family, Cee Lo Green, Leona Lewis and the band Alien Ant Farm, which is known for its cover of Jackson’s song “Smooth Criminal.”
The announcement came after more than two weeks of silence about performers for the Oct. 8 show at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
While the event is endorsed by the singer’s mother and some of his siblings, brothers Randy and Jermaine Jackson have protested its timing. The concert is scheduled during the trial of a doctor charged in Jackson’s death.
The singer’s estate is also not affiliated with the concert.