NBA champion Shaquille O’Neal paid $20,000 for his mother to witness a performance by musicians that were scheduled for the event during his third annual benefit on Saturday.
According to PEOPLE, the former Los Angeles Lakers star’s annual gala, known as The gala, raises funds for The Shaquille O’Neal Foundation. Shaq is alleged to have spent the aforementioned amount during a live auction, allowing his mother Lucille O’Neal to have a single table to herself to see performers such as John Legend, Jennifer Hudson, Anderson Paak, and Dan+Shay perform.
Aside from the gesture to his mother, the NBA legend won a bid for a luxury trip to Bora Bora. He went all out and bid $50,000 for it. According to the Shaquille O’Neal Foundation, The Event is the “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 attendees at the event expressed their support for Shaq by bidding on opulent presents during the live auction. The options included spending time with Shaq at his house as well as hanging out with actor Mark Wahlberg and retired soccer player 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!”
According to PEOPLE, the first edition of The Event raised $2.9 million for underserved children, with the following year raising $3.15 million. This year’s funds are yet to be released.