By all accounts, it was a shining success. The Night of a Thousand Stars Gala broke records on November 16th when more than $700,000 was raised for the hospitals and programs that VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation fundraises for; Vancouver General Hospital (VGH), UBC Hospital, GF Strong Rehab Centre and Community Health Services.
Held at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, more than 600 business, community and health care leaders were in attendance, showing their support for BC’s most specialized adult hospitals and medical research organizations. The Foundation was honoured to have them all in the room.
Highlights of the evening included silent and live auctions, gourmet dinner, and a video featuring Steve Howe, a young man from Squamish, injured in an accident, who – after undergoing 78 surgeries at VGH and significant physical rehabilitation at GF Strong Rehab Centre – has gone on to marry, have a family, and return to work. They, along with his favourite doctor and ICU nurse received a resounding round of applause from the audience. There was also a special presentation of this year’s Leadership Award to community leaders and generous donors Syd and Joanne Belzberg.
A speech by Foundation President & CEO Ron Dumouchelle inspired one donor to double his previously-made commitment to the Joseph & Rosalie Segal Family Centre – the mental health project being constructed at VGH – from $1 million to $2 million.
And, the energy from auctioneer Howard Blank of Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, inspired attendees to give more than $400,000 to “fund a need.” This year’s feature need: ventilators to help critically ill and injured patients breathe.
Event emcees were Gloria Macarenko (CBC TV) and Stephen Quinn (CBC Radio). The Beatles Tribute Band, Revolver, did a great job of filling the dance floor.