The Venice Family Clinic honored TV star Hugh Laurie of the medical series “House” and show creator David Shore at the Silver Circle Gala February 23rd, an annual event benefiting the largest free clinic in the United States.

Laurie and Shore were recognized with the Venice Family Clinic’s 2009 Humanitarian Award for their support of the clinic and other healthcare-related charities, as well as for the show’s help in raising public awareness of healthcare issues, such as the plight of the uninsured, according to the clinic.

Laurie’s co-star on “House,” Lisa Edelstein, emceed the event.

In their acceptance speeches, Laurie and Shore praised Venice Family Clinic for its life-saving work.

“What have we saved, a hundred lives?” Shore asked rhetorically, referring to the show’s recent 100th episode. “That doesn’t compare to the thousands of lives Venice Family Clinic has saved.”

Later, Laurie and Edelstein hosted an ad-libbed live auction of “House” memorabilia, including one of Dr. House’s flame-tipped canes, signed by Laurie, and one of Dr. House’s scrubs, signed by the cast. The winner took the items home as a set for $2,000 ñ the cost of providing healthcare to one of Venice Family Clinic’s patient families for an entire year, clinic staff noted.

All proceeds from the event benefited Venice Family Clinic, which provides free, quality healthcare to more than 23,500 low-income and uninsured people annually through eight sites in Los Angeles County.

Silver Circle members and guests have raised a total of $1 million for the clinic this year.

The Venice Family Clinic also honored the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and UCLA Health System with its 2009 Community Service Award. UCLA’s support of Venice Family Clinic dates to the clinic’s founding in 1970 and includes donated lab, diagnostic, primary care, and specialty care services.

In the last year alone, nearly 350 UCLA physicians, including more than 200 residents, volunteered at Venice Family Clinic. These physicians, along with other volunteers from UCLA, have donated over 26,000 hours, valued at more than $1 million, clinic officials said.

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