Having never been to Canada, I really have no frame of reference; but to my eyes, it was as though a galaxy of stars had descended on Vancouver, BC; and it was pretty fantastic. The culmination of a weekend benefiting the David Foster Foundation’s ongoing mission – to support the non-medical expenses of more than 1,100 Canadian families in the process of undergoing life-saving pediatric organ transplants – the 30th Anniversary Miracle Gala took place at Rogers Arena, on Saturday, October 21st, following a Founders’ Dinner, the night before, at Parq Vancouver – the weekend’s presenting sponsor.
Seen on the scene, with David Foster and girlfriend Katharine McPhee, were Oprah Winfrey, Jay Leno, Diana Bennett, Bo Derek, Shani James and CeeLo Green, Carly Rae Jepsen, Steven Tyler, Scott Menke, Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi, Robin and Dr. Phil McGraw, Matteo Bocelli, Elizabeth Blau, The Tenors, Reba McEntire, Melissa Peterman, Cassandra and Michael Ravenhill, and Laura Bretan; as well as the performers from Friday’s dinner, including Ruben Studdard, Jordan McGraw, Pia Toscano, and the fabulous Sheléa Frazier.
Some highlights, for me, included going backstage, and finding myself in front of a room with a sign on the door reading “Hair & Make Up” (where, as you might’ve guessed, I entered, and had my hair and make-up done, while everyone else was enjoying their salads); hanging-out with the nattily-styled London Essentials, whose enthusiastic and in-your-face arrangements of songs ranging from “La Vie En Rose” and “Sweet Caroline” to “Tu Vuò Fà l’Americano” and “Proud Mary” (the last of which was performed as the group’s bearded ginger singer shimmied in Oprah’s face, à la Tina Turner) were a cherry on top of both nights; hearing Steven Tyler sing “Dream On” (always a treat); laughing at the antics of my tablemate, Vancouver’s scintillating Jacqui Cohen (whom I’ve dubbed ‘Tits McGee’); and sporadically stalking Oprah (she paid me no mind, whatsoever).
But all the honorifics and performances aside, this was a fund-raiser; and believe you me, funds were raised, in a big way. 16-time Grammy Award winner Foster began his eponymous foundation, in 1986, in Victoria, BC (his hometown); to raise awareness of the necessity of organ donation, and also to aid those families of kids needing transplants, with their enormous non-medical expenses. More than 1,100 families across Canada have received assistance from the David Foster Foundation, these past three decades; and on this night, more than $10.2 million was raised. I’m not sure if those are Canadian dollars; but either way – that’s gonna make a huge difference in the lives of some very deserving families, at what is often the most harrowing time of their lives.
Not for nothing, the whole shebang was presented by Parq Vancouver. Located smack-dab in the center of downtown Vancouver’s hip-n-happening entertainment district; Parq Vancouver is home to a pair of thoughtfully conceived luxury hotels – the JW Marriott Parq Vancouver, and The Douglas (an Autograph Collection Hotel) – with a stellar food-and-beverage program developed by Blau & Associates (highlighted by the exquisite 1886), an elegant casino, and delightful art installations, throughout.
Vancouver. Who’d’ve thunk it?
David Foster Foundation | 30th Anniversary Miracle Gala
Presented by Parq Vancouver
Click HERE for info
Get into it!