David Foster Foundation CEO Mike Ravenhill

Oak Bay hosts David Foster concert

Overture, curtains, lights, this is it, the night of nights

The lights are ready to be dimmed and the tables set as the Oak Bay Beach Hotel prepares to host its first David Foster Miracle Concert on May 4.

The hotel hoped to hold the gala last year, but the theatre wasn’t ready in time. It’s been operating since December, and hotel owner Kevin Walker said he’s eager to host the event.

“We’re very excited about it. He will not only be sharing his music, but he’ll be sharing his story with us. People will go away with a sense that they’ve made a friend in David Foster.”

The David Foster Foundation, which started in 1986, raises money to support families of children receiving organ transplants. The foundation’s annual gala event, hosted by Foster, is one of its primary fundraising events.

Another source of funding came this year in the form of volunteer work by South Island Telus Community Ambassadors, a group of current and retired Telus employees that raise money in the community for a number of causes.

To help celebrate the 25th anniversary of the foundation last year, the ambassadors decided to get involved and offer their support. They held a garage sale, a barbecue and a slow-pitch softball tournament to raise money.

The group made a pledge to raise $10,000 to sponsor a family. In the end, members exceeded expectations and raised  $15,408. The money was presented to the foundation at an event at Oak Bay Beach Hotel on Wednesday, March 20.

“We were very excited and very happy to be able to come and present this,” said co-president Donna Davidson. “We’ve never done anything that big.”

“On behalf of (Foster) and on behalf of the foundation, we just want to say thank you so much,” said foundation CEO Mike Ravenhill.

Foster will be bringing a few celebrity friends with him for the gala event, but Walker couldn’t say who.

Tickets for the gala are not yet available for the public but will be released soon.

Foundation for families

Oak Bay Beach Hotel owner Kevin Walker revealed he had a group in the restaurant for dinner recently who called him over for a chat. They told him their daughter had a heart transplant 13 years ago, at three weeks old. The family was helped by the David Foster Foundation, which paid their mortgage and rented them an apartment in Toronto so they could be with their child.

“It was a beautiful moment for me,” Walker said, adding they host the event so “Canadian families can have the support that their really cherish, deserve and value when they’re facing their moment of crisis.”