NBA champion Shaquille O’Neal showed love to his mother during his third annual fundraiser on Saturday as he paid $20,000 for her to exclusively watch a performance from artists that were billed for the event.
Per PEOPLE, the former Los Angeles Lakers star’s event, known as The Event, is held annually to raise funds for The Shaquille O’Neal Foundation. Shaq is said to have paid the aforementioned sum during a live auction, paving the way for his mother Lucille O’Neal to have a single table for herself to watch artists including John Legend, Jennifer Hudson, Anderson Paak, and Dan+Shay on stage.
Besides the gesture to his mom, the NBA legend won a bid offering a luxurious vacation to Bora Bora. He splurged more and bid $50,000 for that. The Shaquille O’Neal Foundation states that The Event is a “primary fundraiser for The Shaquille O’Neal Foundation, established by NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal.”
“The Shaquille O’Neal Foundation aims to create pathways for underserved youth to help them achieve their full potential. In doing so, they have partnered with two organizations close to Shaquille’s heart – Boys & Girls Clubs and Communities In Schools,” the foundation adds.
Other guests at the event also showed support for Shaq as they bid on lavish offerings during the live auction. The offerings included an opportunity to spend time with Shaq at his home and also a chance to hang out with actor Mark Wahlberg and retired soccer star David Beckham.
“We raised the bar last year, and The Third Event promises to do the same,” Shaq said in a statement prior to The Event. “I’m so grateful to our entertainers who are once again donating their time. I know they will create a night of incredible music and comedy in a true testament to the power of unity to make a difference in kids’ lives. I’m also excited to see familiar faces and new supporters alike, joining hands in the spirit of compassion to give back to the community. Let’s make this another night to remember!”
The inaugural edition of The Event raised $2.9 million for underserved children while $3.15 million was raised the following year, PEOPLE reported. The money raised this year is yet to be released.