ABC News Correspondent helps raise money for veterans in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- It was a big night of fundraising for veterans in San Francisco Thursday night. For the first time, ABC News Correspondent, Bob Woodruff, held his Stand Up for Heroes event on the West Coast.

Thousands of people showed up at The Masonic on Nob Hill to raise money for the Bob Woodruff Foundation which gives to nonprofits focused on veterans and their families.

RELATED: Vets honored at San Francisco fundraiser hosted by Bob Woodruff

Air Force Master Sgt. Israel Del Toro, who goes by DT, spoke at the event about how the importance of Woodruff's foundation, "it's easier for us to focus on our recovery when we don't have to worry about our families."

When DT's Humvee hit an IED in Afghanistan in 2005, he was burned on more than 80 percent of his body. Three months later, he woke up from a coma. "We all have the spirit of fire inside of us that drives us and I just had to find mine, which is easy. It's my son."

DT met Woodruff, while they were both recovering from comas.

RELATED: Volunteers carry NC veteran who couldn't walk to wife's grave

While reporting in Iraq in 2006, Woodruff was hit by shrapnel from a roadside bomb. "I covered wars for so many years, I never really thought about getting hit and I did," said Woodruff who reflected on starting his foundation, "The fact that you had a chance to start this organization and really have a decent impact on the lives of people. I sometimes joke if there's any good news about getting blown up, it was this."

The inaugural West Coast event raised more than $500,000, thanks in part to Silicon Valley.

"Vets and their families have sacrificed a lot," said Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist and a sponsor of the foundation. "I figure if someone is willing to risk a lot, maybe to protect me, I should give back everything I can."

The Bob Woodruff Foundation has raised more than $45 million to help veterans and their families

Click here for more information about the benefit.
Click here for more stories and videos related to veterans.

Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.