09/06/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Obama Taps Celebs To Woo High-End Donors

Presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), heavily reliant on major donors and celebrities despite his public emphasis on small contributors, upped the ante this week to enter his VIP donor world. A new high was set Monday for hosting or chairing an Obama event; chairs of his birthday fund-raiser in Boston had to raise $285,000; co-chairs needed to collect $142,500.

Meanwhile, a string of celebrities from the entertainment world are helping Obama raise campaign money in August and September: Bruce Hornsby; Luciana & Matt Damon and Jennifer Garner & Ben Affleck, Star Jones; Kal Penn; Mira Nair; Ellen Pompeo; Justin Chambers and Scarlett Johansson. Leon Fleisher, Yo Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman will perform at an Obama fund-raiser in Phoenix next month.

The higher price tags in the Boston event was reflected down the line: dinner and the "photoline" was $28,000 per couple or $15,000 a seat. Other tiered categories: Celebration Co-Chair/Sponsor/Friend/Ticket Price: $25,000, $4,600, $2,300, $1,000. The Boston Globe reported $5 million raised from the evening.

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