35th Annual Crystal Ball raises over $6.76 million for BC Children’s Hospital
Funds raised will transform the future for children with hard-to-cure cancers
Vancouver, BC—November 21, 2021: Last evening, more than 350 guests came together for BC Children’s Hospital Foundation’s 35th Annual Crystal Ball Gala, presented by Nicola Wealth. Guests and supporters of this Emerald Anniversary gala raised an incredible $6.76 million and counting to advance life-saving research that will transform the future for children battling hard-to-cure cancers. This included a transformational $3 million commitment from the Djavad Mowafaghian Foundation towards the establishment of a BC Children’s Hospital Chair in oncology research.
For the first time in its history, this year’s Crystal Ball welcomed guests both in person at the Fairmont Pacific Rim and virtually from homes all across the province—all who rallied together to help conquer pediatric cancers.
“For families battling childhood cancer, their fight is more than a physical one—it is an experience wrought with uncertainty over the outcome. This is why the support raised through Crystal Ball is so critical for these families,” said Malcolm Berry, President and CEO, BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. “Not only will it fast-track life-saving oncology research that will uncover safer and more effective personalized treatments for children fighting the most aggressive cancers, it will also ultimately change the experience of their families from one of fear, to hope. I’m immensely grateful and inspired by the commitment of this community who is making this change a reality.”
Every year in BC, approximately 130 kids are diagnosed with cancer. While 80 percent of these children will survive, 20 percent—or one out of five kids with cancer—still don’t. Families face some of their darkest days as they navigate anxieties about their child’s future. They fear the physical and emotional tolls of treatment, and once treated, that the cancer may one day return or their child will be affected by serious side effects of the treatments meant to save them.
Through the support of the Crystal Ball community, experts at BC Children’s Hospital are leading ground-breaking research that will uncover safer and more effective personalized therapies, specifically built for each young patient’s genetic profile and their cancerous tumours. This support will also propel forward critical care for long-term medical and emotional needs of children with cancer and their families.
Last evening’s event was made possible by the visionary leadership, hard work and dedication of the 2021 Crystal Ball Committee, led by Co-Chairs Arya Eshghi and Helen Rivero, and together brought to life the creative plan for this gala from start to finish, including its first-ever hybrid format.
Marking its 35th anniversary with the emerald gemstone, tonight’s event was accentuated against a backdrop of a stunning emerald-green motif and decor. Reflecting on the virtues represented by the emerald—truth, love and hope—returning Master of Ceremonies Chris Gailus of Global BC, and the ever-engaging auctioneer Fred Lee inspired guests and rallied support as they introduced powerful stories and messages from patient families, the oncology team at BC Children’s, and key supporters who made the night possible.
The evening’s energy heightened with the announcement of multiple significant gifts—including $100,000 commitments made by Paul Balfour and Cynthia Miles, The Dilawri Foundation, The Greczmiel Family, Terry and Olivia Hui, The Johal Family, Desha and Suki Sekhon, Lawrence and Sandi Thiessen, and The Wesik Family; a $250,000 commitment by The Hudson Family; and an incredible $500,000 commitment made by The Ilich Family.
The support raised last evening, combined with the extraordinary $3 million gift from the Djavad Mowafaghian Foundation, will drive forward visionary and transformative change in childhood cancer research.
The Emerald Anniversary marked a memorable night for Crystal Ball, honouring the legacy of the community who have supported the gala—and BC Children’s Hospital—for the past 35 years. Since its inception in 1986, this gala has raised more than $40 million for BC Children’s Hospital.
About BC Children’s Hospital Foundation
BC Children’s Hospital is the only hospital in the province devoted exclusively to the care of children. As one of the few pediatric medical centres in North America with a world-class acute care centre, research institute, mental health facility and rehabilitation centre, all on a single campus. Leading experts at BC Children’s provide a specialized level of expertise, innovative therapies and kid-focused care that can’t be found anywhere else in the province, including the sickest and most seriously injured. At BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, we have a vision that every child is healthy and able to fulfill their hopes and dreams. The generosity of donors fuels our ability to help conquer childhood illnesses, and address the biggest health challenges that face kids today. Please follow us at @bcchf or visit bcchf.ca for more information.