GRACE RELATIONS: Michael Bublé came from his new Burnaby home to perform at the B.C. Women’s Hospital Foundation’s Glow gala. Chaired by Sonia Sayani, Heidi Seidman and Shanaz Lalji, the event reportedly raised $2.4 million. That should more than fund 10 new birthing suites (the hospital has 17 now) at $175,000 each. The foundation’s two year president-CEO, Genesa Greening, welcomed Bublé, and could have joined his act if asked.
As the daughter of Salvation Army ministers, she sang gospel songs and belted out blues in her native Newfoundland. She certainly doesn’t sing the blues today as the foundation prepares to launch a $20-million capital campaign toward a specialized health centre for gynecological surgery and outpatient service. Greening shares a background with B.C. Women’s; it operated for 67 years as the Salvation Army’s Grace Hospital before adopting its present title in 1994.
IN TERRY’S STEPS: Cancer’s indiscriminate ways were evident when the 16th annual A Night To Dream gala reportedly raised $480,000 for Ronald McDonald House. Waiting for the start, 12-year-old Olivia Ady’s hairless head and hip-to-calf scar were evidence of chemotherapy and surgery for osteosarcoma. Close by, twin sister Isabella practised light-as-air jive moves with father Geoff while mother Bridgette smiled approvingly. Treatment for the ailment has greatly advanced since it felled Terry Fox in 1981. Four out of five patients now survive, and, though further treatment is scheduled, the Trail-resident Adys believe that Olivia’s cancer is 98 per cent behind her. They’re also thankful for Bridgette and Olivia’s eight-month occupancy of a Ronald McDonald House suite, one of 73 that serve 2,000 families annually. Good news for gala chair Lindsey Turner and CEO Richard Pass who said the house’s role on the B.C. Children’s Hospital campus is “to keep families close when it matters.”
BONE-YARD BIKE: Echoing the pioneering 1850s bicycles called boneshakers, Yolanda Mason made a modern version composed entirely of bones, even its spokes and chain. Too short for even circus clowns at 25 cm, it was Dawson Creek-born Mason’s entry in Bombay Sapphire gin’s recent international art contest at Gallery Jones. Paul Morstad’s watercolour titled Drag Race promoted him to the tourney’s next heat. Still, Mason’s bone bike was as refreshing as the Bombay-based Van Gold cocktail she quaffed.
OUT OF THE RAIN: The Arts Umbrella fine-and-performing-arts organization for young folk was four years old in 1983 when its first Splash fundraiser ran. The ripples spread, and repeat chairs Christie Garofalo and Bruce Munro Wright saw the recent event reportedly net $560,000 from close to 700 attendees. Auctioneer Hank Bull briskly moved 37 donated artworks. Days earlier, he raised $55,000 from 25 works to help build an arts centre on Hornby Island. Former Splash galas merited their name when wind and rain penetrated a tented Granville Island locale. No such contretemps affected the recent one in the Hotel Vancouver’s Pacific Ballroom. However, wine that was splashed out liberally during the auction may have augmented the bidding. For the edification of buyers, the following artists fetched prices half or more higher than their catalogue estimates. Henri Dauman, 192 per cent. Christos Dikeakos, 189 per cent. Federico Mendez-Castro, 165 per cent. Brian Howell, 164 per cent. Judson Beaumont, 160 per cent. Valerie Raynard, 153 per cent. Douglas Coupland, 150 per cent. Happy collecting.
DROP ’EM: It can be difficult when two women arrive at an event wearing the same dress. Less so when a woman and man visibly sport identical underwear. That happened when Angus Reid Institute executive director Shachi Kurl and TV chappie Mike Killeen turned up in smiley-face boxers at the second-annual Pants Off gala. The event had participants doff their trousers and suchlike to benefit Prostate Cancer Canada. That pleased Canadian Cancer Society board member Kurl. Ditto eminent surgeon-researcher Martin Gleave who, though attired in visible underpants like other attendees, is accustomed to seeing men without them.
RAISE ’EM: Somewhat like city council, Diane Forsythe Abbott’s vision isn’t what it was. There’s nothing wrong with her hearing, though, especially when Jane McLennan offered to donate $25,000 to a luncheon that Abbott founded in 1996. The annual event has always raised funds for the YWCA’s Crabtree Corner, a Downtown Eastside facility for marginalized families. McLennan later raised her gift to $1 million, which should cheer those at the Dec. 5 lunch in the Encore restaurant’s upstairs room. Happier still may be Crabtree Corner’s ever-needy clients.
GROOMING OTHERS: Joseph Fung, who pitched himself to Michelle Tam before their spectacular 2014 wedding here, is now judging 100 other determined hopefuls. Not for marriage, though. According to the South China Morning Post, Fung, the Saltagen Ventures managing partner, will rule on contestants in the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation’s US$120,000 Elevator Pitch Competition. It will “connect entrepreneurial minds from not only Hong Kong but increasingly from across the world with investors.”
DOWN PARRYSCOPE: A city’s decade: Happy Planet to unhappy streets.