Oprah Winfrey, Steven Tyler, Jay Leno and more walk the red carpet for annual Miracle Gala, 10/21/17
Grammy-winning and Victoria-born producer David Foster celebrated 30 years of his foundation over the weekend with a star-studded gala affair filled with music and showmanship at Vancouver’s Rogers Arena. The David Foster Foundation raises money to help cover travel, medical and living expenses for families of children receiving organ transplants, and Saturday’s (Oct. 21) gala resulted in a record-breaking $10.2 million raised for the charity.
“David is such a local hero, and for the event to be held here at Rogers Arena is very special,” said former NHL hockey player Trevor Linden. “I don’t know is there is any greater gift than the opportunity to donate an organ. It’s an opportunity to save a life, and I think it’s something we should all think about.”
The red carpet walk—or rather, purple carpet walk—kicked off four hours prior to the Miracle Gala anniversary festivities, and included appearances from Oprah Winfrey, Steven Tyler, Jay Leno, Carly Rae Jepson, Brian and Mila Mulroney, Ben Mulroney, Bo Derek, Dr. Phil McGraw and Cee Lo Green, to name a few.
“Right now in our world, I think we all need a big dose of goodness. When you think about the number of lives that are being touched across Canada, it’s incredible,” said HLN anchor and emcee for the evening Michaela Pereira. “When I was 10 years old, I was at the B.C. Children’s Hospital, so I understand from a very personal perspective what it’s like for families to go through that.”
Michael Ravenhill, CEO of the David Foster Foundation, was all smiles in a glittering bowtie Saturday night. “Raising money and creating awareness is not easy, so with David we’re pretty blessed because we have a voice that can help,” said Ravenhill. The CEO is looking forward to 30 more years of fundraising galas, but says that credit must be given to the 30 years of volunteers that helped the foundation get to where they are today.
And speaking of 30 years, former prime minister Brian Mulroney looked back on his first David Foster shindig—“We were at the first David Foster party like this in Vancouver; it was a softball game 30 years ago,” said Mulroney. “And believe it or not, I actually got a hit and ran the bases, which I couldn’t do today.”
Over the last three decades, Foster has used his annual gala to raise money for more than 1,100 families. On Saturday, Foster beamed as his family gathered around him for photos, and as Oprah Winfrey joined him in one of her rare Vancouver appearances. The record-breaking fundraising total could not have been more fitting for such a long-running cause-worthy endeavour.
“It’s always the wildest night,” said Canadian singer Carly-Rae Jepson of Foster’s gala. “The reason for being here couldn’t be topped. I always end up bawling.”