Comedian Bob Hope has donated $1 million to help double the capacity of the Motion Picture Country Home and Hospital in Woodland Hills, it was announced Thursday.
Hope will be master of ceremonies for the Dec. 11 ground-breaking for an 81-bed nursing facility that will be the first phase of a $50-million expansion project, said film producer Robert F. Blumofe, co-chairman of the fund-raising campaign for the entertainment industry retirement home.
Blumofe said Hope's donation brings to $23 million the amount raised for the expansion since the campaign began in January, 1985.
Hope's pledge matches the donation received earlier from comedian George Burns, Blumofe said.
Blumofe said he wrote Hope and described the "intolerable situation" at the retirement home, which he said has a waiting list of more than 300 people in their 80s and 90s.
The expansion will bring the size of the facility's hospital to 260 beds, increase the capacity of a lodge from 70 residents to 357 and boost the number of cottage-type apartment units from 54 to 184.
The complex is run by the Motion Picture and Television Fund.