Friday, February 20, 2009

Star-studded night raises more than $2 million for the VGH Hospital

Stellar performances by Diana Krall, James Taylor, Elton John, and Elvis Costello dazzled and delighted 550 guests at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver as part of last night’s invitation-only, black tie charity benefit, raising more than $2 million in funds to help patients with multiple myeloma, leukemia and other blood-related cancers at VGH. Diana Krall treated guests to a world-debut performance of the Burt Bacharach composition, “Walk on By,” from her Brazilian-infused, soon-to-be-released album, “Quiet Nights.” Sarah McLachlan, a guest of the evening and West Vancouver neighbour, added to the evening’s special cachet with a heartfelt impromptu solo performance.

The evening culminated in a tour-de-force finale featuring Diana Krall, James Taylor, Sarah McLachlan and Elvis Costello--the first such time the artists have ever performed on stage together. Highlights from the evening’s spectacular live auction included a spontaneous offer by Elton John to have one’s own lyrics set to music penned, performed and recorded by Elton John himself—a once in a lifetime opportunity—which was offered to two individuals for $250,000 each. Another unique offering, which went for $120,000, featured an all-inclusive seven-night stay for 10 people at Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, compliments of the Radcliffe Foundation, which included the unique offer of a night of campfire songs performed by Sarah McLachlan.

“Our wish has always been to pass along the precious gift of time that we had with our mother and to give other families more time with their own loved ones,” said Diana Krall. “I’m honoured that my husband, Elvis Costello, my dear friends, James Taylor , Elton John and Sarah McLachlan, and so many generous donors and sponsors have joined us in our family’s vision of great care combined with comfort and hope for a cure.”

“Proceeds from this event will help fund research for better, less toxic treatments to help people live longer lives, and ultimately help us find ‘made-in B.C.’ cures for blood cancers,” said Dr. Michael Barnett, Head, Divisions of Hematology, VGH & UBC. “These funds will also help us maintain the highest standards of care for patients in the uplifting and supportive surroundings of the Krall Centre here at VGH.” “We are extremely grateful to Diana, her family, the artists, our sponsors, especially our title sponsor, the Radcliffe Foundation, and our many donors for their generous contributions to patient care and research here at VGH,” Ron Dumouchelle, President and CEO, VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation.

The Krall family’s commitment to VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation is a heartfelt expression of their thanks for the wonderful care Adella Krall received through the Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program at VGH. Adella, wife of Jim Krall and mother of Diana and Michelle, enjoyed six additional precious years of life following her 1996 diagnosis of multiple myeloma - an incurable form of cancer that affects the immune system. Since Adella’s passing in May 2002, the Krall family has continued to demonstrate their commitment to VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation to help others living with multiple myeloma to have the best care possible, to celebrate Adella’s vision of helping leukemia and bone marrow transplant patients and their families and ultimately, to contribute to finding a cure.

In total, these seven charity benefits have raised more than $6 million. VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation is a registered charity that raises funds for the latest, most sophisticated medical equipment, world-class research and improvements to patient care for Vancouver General Hospital, UBC Hospital, GF Strong Rehab Centre and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute. For more than 25 years, the Foundation and its donors have been a bridge between the essential health care governments provide and the most advanced health care possible. For more information please contact: Foundation contact: Entertainment Publicity: Jon Hicke Kim Juneja Director, Marketing & Communications Media Relations VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation Indoor Recess Inc. Tel: (604) 875-5196 Tel: (604) 947-9802

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