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28th ANNUAL DAVID FOSTER FOUNDATION MIRACLE GALA @Mattamy Athletic Centre (Sep 26 2015)

Words+Interviews: Sumona Roy 

Just because a man lacks the use of his eyes doesn’t mean he lacks vision.
You can’t base your life on other people’s expectations.
We all have ability. The difference is how we use it.

Stevie Wonder

Vision and ability were definitely the focus of the 2015 David Foster Foundation Miracle Gala & ConcertThe David Foster Foundation supports the non-medical expenses of families with children undergoing life-saving pediatric organ transplants.   The average cost to support a family for a year is $10,000, but total family support may reach upwards of $100,000.

Often, families have to travel away from home and set up temporary housing close to one of the pediatric transplant hospitals in Canada.  Since its inception, the Foundation has worked to assist close to 1,000 families across Canada.

This amazing foundation was established by one of Canada’s greatest musical talent and multiple Grammy Award winner David Foster —he provided an evening of hope and celebration.

This star-studded event was held at the Mattamy Athletic Centre at the Gardens and of course David Foster collaborated with many of his guests to deliver a stellar musical evening.

Funds raised from this annual event will be directed to the Foundation’s 30 x 30, where they aim to raised $30M by their 30th anniversary in 2017 to ensure the foundation is here to help families for generations to come.

Guests were honoured with the presence of two amazing Canadian humanitarians who were the recipients of the 2015 Visionary Awards:

Gregg Saretsky, President & CEO of Westjet was presented with the National Business Leader of the Year.  Saretsky was instrumental in having Westjet act as a major supporter of the David FosterFoundation over the years.   Last year it was announced that the Foundation would be formally included in the Westjet Cares for Kids program.  Westjet has provided hundreds of flights for families throughout Canada.

Simon Keitha BC native was awarded with the National Humanitarian Leader of the Year.  His motivation and persistence in living life is quite evident with his story.  He is the first professional athlete in the world to play a professional sport after undergoing a heart transplant.  When speaking to him it was quite evident that he was very passionate to encourage and inspire children to live life to their full potential and to reach for their dreams.  He has founded the Simon Keith Foundation in 2011 which dedicates themselves to increase organ donor awareness and educate recipients.

The evening also had Michael Ravenhill, CEO of the David FosterFoundation and his lovely wife explain the heart and soul of the Foundation and why foundations like these are important for children and families as well as Canadian communities.

Guests for the evening included distinguished superstars Peter Cetera (Chicago), Keiza, Michael Bolton, Ronnie Hawkins, Sean Jones and comedian Sinbad (A Different World).  Other well-known faces included Howard Dell, Brian Williams, Sheldon Levy, Michaela Pereira and Ben Mulroney.  With glimpses of some familiar political notables such as Brian Mulroney and Kathleen Wynne. There was a surprise guest appearance and performance by Canadian legend Gordon Lightfoot.  However, the most anticipated performance of the night was for the one and only Stevie Wonder —  his positive nature, legendary songs and impeccable musicianship was a magical highlight of the night!

 About the David Foster Foundation

David Foster is a proud Canadian, Recipient of the Order of Canada, Officer of the Order of Canada, 50-time nominee and 16-time Grammy Award winner (including three for Producer of the Year), three time Oscar nominee, Golden Globe winner, seven time Juno Award winner, Emmy award winner and has the distinguished honour to have his star on both the Canadian and Hollywood Walk of Fame. He is the man behind the biggest hits, with more than half a billion records sold. In 2015, the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria recognized Foster as their Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year.

Foster launched the David Foster Foundation in his hometown of Victoria in 1986. Across Canada, the David Foster Foundation financially supports families for all non-medical expenses while their children are undergoing lifesaving organ transplants. Thanks to its annual fundraising efforts and the generous support of national partners like TELUS, WestJet, Aird & Berlis LLP, Schnitzer, AMJ Campbell Vanlines, Hope Air and Deerfields Clinic families receive support for expenses incurred when travelling away from their homes to be with their child during transplant.

In 2014, the Slaight Family Foundation, Newton Glassman Foundation in partnership with Catalyst Capital Group Inc., Jim & Sandi Treliving, and Tan Sri Dr. Francis Yeoh joined the Oak Bay Beach Hotel and TELUS as the Foundation’s $1M Life Legacy members.

The Foundation also promotes organ donor awareness and registration in both Canada and the United States. For more information, visit www.davidfosterfoundation.com.

A very special thank you to The David Foster Foundation, Adrienne, Holmes PR, Telus, Westjet and the valued attendees on an incredible night.

Images courtesy of bkonthescene

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