PHOTOGRAPHY DREW ALTIZER
The UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital fund-raising event with the Painted Turtle called “A Starry Evening of Music, Comedy & Surprises” at Davies Symphony Hall on March 10 was indeed a star-studded evening, hosted by Kathy Griffin and featured celebrities Annette Bening, Danny DeVito, Josh Groban, Randy Newman, Bonnie Raitt, Amber Riley and Renee Zellweger.
The brightest shining stars were the children with life-threatening and chronic illness who brilliantly performed a song and dance along with the celebrities. They are Gavyn Bailey, Samantha Blansett, Joshua Buger, Kaleighya Dandie-Evans, Marcellus Garcia, Joseph Green, Rachel Hale, Monica Joy, Iris Kline, Morgan Lorenz, Bradley Williams and Graham O’Shaughnessy who sang “You Raise Me Up” with Josh Groban. O’Shaughnessy had such an amazing voice that it topped Josh. At the VIP party after the show, the children all joined the guests on the dance floor. Their illness and handicap didn’t shadow their excitement and enthusiasm. This was the most touching and up-lifting event I have ever attended.
The show was produced by Lou Adler and Kevin Duncan. The impressive Event Committee included Lynne and Marc Benioff, Gayle and Ron Conway, Jack Dorsey, Ann and Gordon Getty, MC Hammer, Mayor Ed Lee, Maryon Davies Lewis, Jennifer and Joe Montana, Gavin and Jennifer Newsom, Sean Parker, Alexis and Trevor Traina, Katie and Todd Traina and Dede Wilsey, Amber and Barry Zito, just to name a few.
UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital cares for more than 130 hospitalized babies and children daily. It’s the first hospital in the world to successfully perform surgery on a baby still in the womb and has revolutionized the field of prenatal diagnosis and screening for birth defects. The Painted Turtle was a camp founded by Paul Newman in 1988 to give seriously ill children a place to experience the joy, adventure and wonder of childhood that would otherwise not exist for them. In 2007, The Painted Turtle launched the outpost program to bring the magic of camp into hospitals throughout California. In 2013, the program served more than 2,700 children at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital and a dozen other hospitals.
A big “Bravo” goes to my client Marc & Lynn Benioff whose generous donation made UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital and this event all possible.