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Deadline extended to save the Hollywood sign

Community groups scramble to raise enough money to save the iconic Hollywood sign before its deadline.

April 14, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Supporters say they've nearly raised the $12.5 million they need to save the Hollywood sign. They just need a bit more time and on Wednesday morning they got their wish. Supporters trying to buy the land surrounding the famous icon have just been granted an extension to come up with the cash. In the last couple of months a flood of donations came in from citizens, Hollywood studios, and celebrities. Fundraisers are hoping the extension of the deadline for another 16 days will give them the time they need to raise the rest of the money.

The saga of the Hollywood sign has turned into a real cliffhanger. The campaign to save the land around the sign from developers who had built luxury homes of the hillside is close to its fundraising goal.

"We're just a little short but we're going to make it," said L.A. City Councilman Tom LaBonge.

LaBonge and officials from the Trust for Public Land have spent weeks scrambling to raise $12.5 million to buy a 138-acre parcel of land known as Cahuenga Peak, west of the iconic sign. The land is currently owned by a Chicago investment company.

"The amount of momentum that has been built since we made the announcement 60 days ago has been extraordinary. The fact that we announced at $7 million, we're now really at $11 million," said Will Rogers, Trust for Public Land.

Philanthropist Aileen Getty and the jewelry giant Tiffany & Co. are offering a challenge grant, bringing donations up to $11.5 million.

"The peak is like a jewel set into the mountainside around the necklace that is and encompasses the city of Los Angeles," said Fernanda Kellogg, Tiffany & Co.

Fundraisers have to come up with another $1 million by the end of April.

"Failure is not an option. We have 16 days and $1 million to go and everybody has a chance to get in now. That window is closing so get your donations in right now," said Rogers.