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Who to Thank for the Lakers Parade

LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa today speaks at a news conference to announce plans for the Los Angeles Lakers' NBA championship victory parade (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
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Under pressure not to spend nearly a million dollars in city money for the Lakers parade tomorrow, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa raised $850,000 from private donors to offset costs. "If we hadn't had a parade, you've have had a whole bevy of other people criticizing," he said.

Those who helped include Casey and Laura Wasserman, Jerry and Margie Perenchio, Haim and Cheryl Saban, Eli and Edythe Broad, Joe and Sharon Hernandez of Melissa's Fruits and Vegetables, Ed and Gayle Roski and the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians in Highland, according to the Associated Press. The Lakers, who agreed to split the costs evenly with the city, are paying one million dollars for the event.

"C'mon folks, the fact of the matter is you're going to celebrate a victory like that," Villaraigosa said. "We saw on (Sunday) night people came without a parade and look what happened. I think it's better that we organize it, I think it's better that we celebrate in a peaceful way, and I take responsibility." He estimated that the parade will add a $15 million economic benefit to the local economy.

Attending? Full info on the parade can be found here.