CALGARY- Canadian musician and songwriter David Foster and more than 800 guests attended his foundations gala Saturday night.
Many celebrity guests were among the crowd that walked Calgary’s red carpet, including Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, Jennifer Hudson and Calgary’s own Bret “The Hitman” Hart.
CNN’s Michaela Pereira emceed the event and was joined by other guests including hockey commentator and former NHL goalie Kelly Hrudey, Mrs. Laureen Harper and cast members of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
The concert portion of the evening was kicked off by Foster playing the theme song from the 1988 Calgary Olympic Winter Games, which he described as, “the best song he has ever written,” and ended with a spectacular performance by Steven Tyler. At the end of the performance, Foster announced that the gala raised $8.2 million.
Foster even took his fundraising efforts to new heights; auctioning off a trip to space at the gala.
The David Foster Foundation was created by the 16-time Grammy award winner to help support families that have children who require lifesaving organ transplants.
Before the gala, Foster met with one family at the Alberta Children’s hospital Saturday afternoon that knows first-hand the importance of raising awareness about the importance of organ donation.
Cassidy Creasey spent many years at the hospital after suffering complications from an E. coli infection.
Finally in June, Creasey received an amazing gift from her mother, a kidney that saved her life.
Now she and her mother are encouraging Albertans to become organ donors.
“It’s made life so much easier,” Creasey explained. ” You could just help so many people to just sign your card and talk to your family.”
Foster is also pushing for the assumed consent program, which would automatically make all Canadians donors unless they choose to opt out of the program.
“We’re not curing cancer,” Foster said. “We are just saying, ‘Please don’t make people wait three or five years or die while they’re waiting for an organ.’”
Saturday’s concert will include performances by Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Jackie Evancho and Sinbad.
The Miracle Gala and Concert will also auction off a seat on a spacecraft that will take the winning bidder on a 62-km high space flight.