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Stars on stage, gems on auction block at Foster gala

May 24 2012

It seems appropriate that a Victoria musician who has become synonymous with the Grammy Awards would be tempted to auction off a one-of-a-kind experience at Hollywood's biggest night in music for his charity's 25th anniversary fundraiser.

A night at the Grammy Awards paired with an invitation to rub shoulders with stars of stage, screen and the music world is among the live-auction items up for grabs Saturday night during the David Foster Foundation 25th Anniversary Miracle Weekend.

Gala dinner guests at the Grammy Award-winning producer's Miracle Concert on Saturday at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre will have several lots to choose from to help raise money for families of children needing organ transplants.

Racing-car enthusiasts with deep pockets can bid on the opportunity to meet racing legend Mario Andretti and some of the world's top drivers at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's Indy 500. Oenophiles will most likely prefer private tours of Napa Valley vineyards, or a luxurious week-long stay at a 15th-century chateau in the heart of France's wine country.

Other deluxe items on the auction block include attending the ceremony when Foster is presented with a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame this fall, then watching a taping of ABC's hit comedy Modern Family; and meeting CĂ©line Dion after catching her new show in Las Vegas, with a bonus Cirque de Soleil performance.

And Danny Hooper, "the Wayne Gretzky of fundraising auctioneers," likely won't have much trouble fetching top dollar for an invitation to Muhammad Ali's Celebrity Fight Night, including the chance to meet the champ in Phoenix and sit in on a star-studded rehearsal for Ali's main event.

Ditto for a week-long getaway to a 60,000-square-foot Caribbean estate, including a private concert by the Canadian Tenors.

Meanwhile, Michael Johns, the Australian singer-songwriter and American Idol Season 7 finalist, will join Ali, Sarah McLachlan, Josh Groban, the Canadian Tenors, Kenny G, Gretzky and other stars at the weekend event, which is being presented in collaboration with the Oak Bay Beach Hotel to mark its grand reopening this summer.

An estimated 400 tickets costing $125-$250 were still available Wednesday for Saturday's Miracle Concert, a foundation spokesman said. A limited number of seats, priced at $1,000, for the gala dinner preceding it were also available.

The weekend gets underway Friday with a CFAX fundraising radio-thon and a sold-out gala dinner and private concert featuring Foster and surprise guests Friday night at the Fairmont Empress Crystal Ballroom.

mreid@timescolonist.com

> On the web: davidfostermiracleconcert.com

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