The David Foster Foundation's 30th anniversary gala promises to be a spectacularly star-studded evening
Three decades ago, the legendary David Foster’s late mother (Eleanor Foster) asked him to visit a young Victoria girl who was awaiting a liver transplant at the UCLA Medical Center.
When the 16-time Grammy-award-winning music producer, Golden Globe winner, seven-time Juno and Emmy award winner asked what the girl wanted, she said simply, her sister.
The music icon paid for the sister’s flights to L.A. In 1986, her simple request spawned the David Foster Foundation.
On Saturday, October 21st, Foster will celebrate this landmark milestone with a start-studded gala fundraising event, the David Foster Foundation 30th Anniversary Gala at Rogers Arena.
At a press conference held earlier this week, the Recipient of the Order of Canada said: “We’re incredibly excited to host our 30th anniversary gala in Vancouver, a city that has provided me with so many amazing memories, and connected me with some of the music industry’s biggest icons. Vancouverites should be prepared for one of the biggest nights in music, coupled with the opportunity to support Canadian families from coast-to-coast for years to come.”
The annual gala and concert provides funding for non-medical expenses to families of children undergoing organ transplants—helping ease the substantial financial and emotional burdens of families who often must leave behind jobs and families.
David Foster Foundation Miracle Gala & Concert
Families like Tannis and Chris Wallace, whose spunky seven-year-old Coen Wallace was diagnosed with Bilateral hydronephrosis, a life-threatening condition which doesn’t allow urine to drain from the kidney into the bladder.
As a baby, Coen was placed on dialysis for up to 12 hours per day. In the fall 2012, the peritoneal dialysis began to fail, and Coen desperately needed a kidney transplant. Thus, began a journey in which his parents had to commute several times a week from their home in Victoria to BC Children’s Hospital, while they waited for a kidney donor.
Three years later, Don Davidson, a family friend and RCMP officer, gave one of his kidneys.
Like many other families, the Wallaces not only had to deal with the worry of a sick child but how to pay the bills. Thanks to the David Foster Foundation, Tannis and Chris could concentrate on their precious son Coen, while the foundation assisted the family with household expenses, parking, gas and their mortgage payments. Every year, the charity covers those costs, as well as rent, car payments, airline tickets, groceries, and more. The average cost to support one family for a year is $10,000. However, if a child requires more than one organ transplant over several years, total family support can sometimes reach $100,000 to $150,000.
Since its inception, the David Foster Foundation has assisted close to 1,000 Canadian families. In 2006, the foundation became a national charity, expanding its program countrywide. In 2014, it supported 122 families, with 48 successful life-saving pediatric organ transplants taking place. Often, families must travel away from home and set up temporary housing close to their child. According to statistics, close to 85 per cent of families end up bankrupt and, often divorced.
Foster thanks his celebrity friends, who perform for free during the annual David Foster Foundation Miracle Gala fundraisers. From the get go, mega stars such as Barbra Streisand, Wayne Gretzky, Dustin Hoffman, Celine Dion, Jennifer Hudson, Stevie Wonder, and Andre Agassi have happily sign on.
In December 2013, The Tenors took to the stage along with musical greats Earth, Wind and Fire and Andrea Bocelli in Toronto, raising more than $6.5 million. The most recent gala, which took place in Winnipeg on September 24, 2016, featured celebrities like Seal, The Tenors, Carly Rae Jepsen, and Michael Bolton.
The David Foster Foundation 30th Anniversary Gala will no doubt be yet another unforgettable and memorable night. For more information and the line up of stars (to be announced soon), visit the David Foster Foundation.