David Foster Foundation Spring 2022 Newsletter

Page 1


the Gift of Life


r t tra

n sp l a

nt rec ip

ient, K eziah, an

d her m

other, Ly nd



Keziah’s Transplant Journey

Keziah's Transplant Journey


Message from the Chairman


Message from the CEO


Keziah is Lyndonna’s youngest child, born in

Message from the SVP, Fund Development


October of 2014. Two days after Keziah was

Message from the Director of Family Relations


Keziah's Transplant Journey Continued


Due to this condition, Keziah was flown to the Stollery Children’s

Green Shirt Day


Hospital in Edmonton from her home in Calgary and underwent her

April is National Organ and Tissue Awareness Month


The Making of a Philanthropist— Henry Kallan



born, she was diagnosed with hypoplastic left


heart syndrome, which meant that the left side


of her heart was not pumping blood as needed.

first open-heart surgery at only two weeks old. Over the next four years, Keziah would undergo two more corrective open-heart surgeries. In July of 2019, Keziah began to complain that her chest hurt. Lyndonna immediately took her daughter to the nearby

Appointment as Honourary Colonel


Wings and Wheels Partnership


Thank You to All Our Partners


Save the Date! A Night on Broadway in Partnership with Hotel X Toronto


hospital in Calgary. The doctor did an echocardiogram and found that her heart was functioning at only 10%. She was flown via medical transport back to the Stollery Children’s Hospital for medical care the following night. The team determined that she would need to be listed for a heart transplant. Keziah was transferred back to Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary, where she was to wait as an inpatient. This made things easier for

212 HENRY ST., VICTORIA, BC V9A 3H9 OFFICE: 250.475.1223 FAX: 250.475.1193 TOLL FREE: 1.877.777.7675

Lyndonna to care for Keziah and her other two children at home, who


and brother.

were five and seven years old. Lyndonna balanced caring for Keziah and her siblings for all of August with the support of her mother, sister,


Public Awareness for Organ & Tissue Donation Message from the Chairman


his spring has brought a sense of optimism, joy, and a sense of a new beginning. I think after enduring a couple of years of the unknown, this spring feels extra special. The last couple of years have not been easy on any of us. I hope that you take these upcoming moments and really enjoy them — because we all deserve them! April is a very special month for the David Foster Foundation. Throughout the month we focus on public awareness and education for organ and tissue donation. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to register to become an organ donor and to speak to your loved ones about your decision and the importance of becoming a registered organ donor. YOU can make a difference. I am deeply grateful to all of our supporters. If it wasn’t for you, the

David Foster Foundation would not be able to assist families whose children are going through the challenging transplant process.


David Foster Founder and Chairman

I encourage you to register to become an organ donor and to speak to your loved ones about your decision.

Fundraising Event & Moving Forward Message from the Chief Executive Office


t's been two long years since the COVID-19 pandemic plagued our communities, cities, and loved ones. After multiple postponements, I am pleased to announce that our 2022 fundraiser is scheduled and sold out! An Intimate Evening with David Foster, A Night on Broadway has been confirmed this spring at Hotel X Toronto. This event represents so much to the David Foster Foundation. Not only will we be able to enjoy the company of our supporters and donors in person, but we are also marking the moment we are all moving forward. We have not had a fundraiser since 2019, so the funds raised at this event are


Spring 2022

crucial in the future support the David Foster Foundation provides transplant families. These fundraising events would not be possible without the incredible talent, generous sponsors, and commitment from our volunteers and team. I cannot wait to share the success of this event with you! On a personal note, I am thrilled to share I was recently appointed as a Canadian Armed Forces Honourary Colonel for the 410 Tactical Fighter Squadron. Receiving this was such an honour and I feel extremely blessed to have been able to share this moment with my loved ones. I am looking forward to working with the

Please read page 10 for the full story of Michael Ravenhill's appointment as Colonel.

410 Tactical Fighter Squadron in the coming months.

With great appreciation,

HCol Michael Ravenhill Chief Executive Officer David Foster Foundation Honourary Colonel Canadian Armed Forces 410 Tactical Fighter Squadron

A Time to Reflect, to Heal & to Share Message from SVP, Fund Development


believe that the greatest risk is treading water, doing nothing. When “things” around you are changing, especially when the change is and has the potential of creating unmitigated and often unnecessary life and death challenges. There is no universal harmonization when it comes to COVID-19 and vaccines. Unfortunately, if your experience is similar to mine, there is an uneasiness, especially as I often find myself pitted against colleagues, friends, and family members. I constantly ask myself who is right, and the rhetorical response is often, and please excuse the sports analogy, a “Jump Ball?". Most will agree that, at least throughout North America, we are starting to see the back end of the COVID pandemic and as a result it appears that the verbalization of contrarian views have diminished, even if the personal views haven’t changed.

Unfortunately, as one pandemic lessons, the relatively new pandemic, the Russia and Ukraine crisis proliferates and as a result, there is global uneasiness. On a personal note, and I hope you agree, it is now the time to circle the proverbial global “Wagon” of uneasiness to reflect, to heal and most importantly, to share. My sincere challenge to each of you. Take the “present” as an opportunity, where change is the norm rather than the exception, to help those who are less fortunate than yourself. The amount is relative, as it's not the amount you are sharing, but rather the act itself.

Message from Director of Family Relations


April is National Organ Donor awareness month and I believe this metaphor ties in well with the month because, amid the tragedy of death, lays the potential for life in organ donation. Organ donors save lives. On the following pages, we share Keziah’s heart transplant story with you. Recalling the moment she got the call for transplant Keziah’s mom, Lyndonna, shared the following: “I felt joy and happiness, but then I felt sadness for the selfless family that was giving my child

1. Mail your cheques to David Foster Foundation, 212 Henry Street, Victoria BC V9A 3H9 2. Please call 1-877-777-7675 3. Online through PayPal at davidfosterfoundation.com 4. Electronic funds transfer— please email info@davidfosterfoundation.com

John Danson SVP, Fund Development

A Glimmer of Hope pring conjures to mind fresh flowers and new growth. It is a time when you look outside at the ‘spring showers and know that they are bringing May flowers’. I love this sentiment because it reminds us that even after the dark times follow moments of happiness and hope.

How to make a donation to the Foundation:

the greatest gift we could have ever hoped for. I cried both tears of joy and sadness.” I urge you to consider registering as an organ donor if you have not already, and to talk to your loved ones about your decision. Families like Keziah’s are able to create more memories together because of organ donation. Amid the dark times, there can be glimmers of hope.


Aleea Dahinden Director of Family Relations Photo credit: Michelle Little Photography

Liorah (left), received a life-saving liver transplant from her mom, Darline.



The Foundation took the financial burden off our family and allowed me to focus 100% on my daughter. I am grateful I was able to focus on what really mattered.

On September 11, Keziah was called for transplant and was quickly transferred from Alberta Children's Hospital in Calgary back to the Stollery Children's in Edmonton. Keziah underwent her life-saving heart transplant on September 12. Lyndonna remembers her and Keziah’s exact feelings when they got the call, “When I received the call from the transplant team in Edmonton, I felt joy and happiness because I watched her health decline so quickly, but then I felt sadness for the selfless family that was giving my child the greatest gift we could have ever hoped for. I cried both tears of joy and sadness. Keziah felt happy and overwhelmed because the transport team came right away to prepare her for transportation to Edmonton.”

Above: Keziah post-transplant recovering. Below: Keziah post-transplant.

Keziah was in surgery for over ten hours. “I was scared. This was a major surgery. A member of the transplant team came and informed us that she was bleeding a lot but that they were trying to control it. I felt scared, overwhelmed, and anxious. I felt like there was a weight on my chest. My greatest joy was when the surgeon came out and said the transplant went well, her new heart looks great!” says Lyndonna. Post-transplant, Keziah was in and out of the pediatric cardiac intensive care unit due to complications postsurgery. Keziah had difficulties sleeping and Lyndonna was by her bedside constantly. Keziah also developed an infection that needed more medical care. Lyndonna remembers how much the transplant affected her whole family, “I wanted to be there for Keziah, but my mind was also on my other children in Calgary. It was hard to be in different cities, I felt like I was abandoning my other children. I was very grateful for my family who was caring for them while I was with Keziah.” Keziah’s siblings were worried and would ask Lyndonna how Keziah was doing and if she was going to be okay. They desperately wanted to see her with their own eyes and wanted reassurance. It was a great moment for the whole family when relatives were able to bring them to Edmonton for a visit. While Keziah and Lyndonna were at the Stollery Children’s Hospital, their social worker told them about the David Foster Foundation. The Foundation provided support to Lyndonna with the costs of accommodation, food, gas, parking, and taxis.


Spring 2022


Keziah in the Stollery Children's Hospital..

“Without the Foundation I do not know where my family and I would be. The Foundation took the financial burden off our family and allowed me to focus 100% on my daughter. I am grateful I was able to focus on what really mattered.” The family was able to return home in December, “It felt awesome to return to Calgary in December. It was so nice to be home and to have all my children under one roof again.” says Lyndonna. As Keziah recovered from her heart transplant, Lyndonna recalls the entire transplant process as an emotional and mental roller coaster. Some days were good, and some days were bad. Keziah is doing much better one-year post-transplant, in addition to growing a lot, she is continuing to grow and develop as a child should. Keziah will need to take anti-rejection medication twice a day for the rest of her life. Taking these medications means that Keziah will be immunocompromised, like all transplant recipients. As part of Keziah's post-transplant care, she is required to have lab work done every month and attend the transplant clinic every three months.

When I received the call from the transplant team in Edmonton, I felt joy and happiness because I watched her health decline so quickly, but then I felt sadness for the selfless family that was giving my child the greatest gift we could have ever hoped for. I cried both tears of joy and sadness. — Keziah's mom, Lyndonna

The David Foster Foundation


The David Foster Foundation team proudly wears their Green Shirts to honour Logan Boulet and encourage organ donation.


n April 6, 2018, Canadians were heartbroken to learn about the tragic Humboldt Broncos bus crash in Saskatchewan. Of the 29 passengers, sixteen lost their lives, and thirteen will all bear physical and emotional scars for life. On April 7, 2018, Humboldt Broncos defenceman Logan Boulet succumbed to his injuries. His parents, Bernadine and Toby Boulet offered to donate his organs which allowed six lives to live on. They did so because Logan shared with his parents that he was registering to be an organ donor and that his coach and mentor Ric Suggitt inspired him. Ric passed on June 27, 2017, and also saved six lives. Logan’s gift of life and his family’s selflessness inspired nearly 150,000 Canadians to register their wishes to be an organ donor in 2018. The next year, Green Shirt Day 2019 inspired another 100,000 Canadians to register their wishes. This movement is recognized as the Logan Boulet Effect and a legacy that has inspired approximately 400,000 conversations about organ and tissue donation.


Spring 2022

Every year on April 7, Green Shirt Day is celebrated. Canadians across the country will be wearing their green shirts proudly to honour the Logan Boulet Effect and raise awareness for organ donation and registration.

HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED AND INSPIRE OTHERS: • Proudly wear green • Register to become an organ donor • Talk to your family

LEARN MORE ABOUT GREEN SHIRT DAY @ greenshirtday.ca Above: Humboldt Broncos defenceman, Logan Boulet

April is

NATIONAL ORGAN & TISSUE DONATION AWARENESS MONTH One organ donor can save up to 8 lives and improve the quality of life for up to 75 patients.

Did you know… 90% of Canadians support organ & tissue donation, however only 32% have registered to be an organ donor.

It takes 2 minutes to register your decision to be an organ donor.

You are 6 times more likely to need a transplant than you are to become an organ donor.

The oldest Canadian organ donor was 92 and the oldest tissue donor was 104 .

HOW TO REGISTER: 1. Visit davidfosterfoundation.com/be-an-organ-donor 2. Sharing your decision to be an organ donor with your family is as important as making the decision itself. Sharing your decision now will help your family to carry out your decision later. Pictured right: Double-lung transplant recipient, Nathan.


The Making of a Philanthropist —Henry Kallan


e have all heard the idiom “from rags to riches” that comes from stories written by Horatio Alger (1832-1899) of poor boys who, through their own great work ethic, became rich young men. This is a story of dedication, hard work, and triumph. It is an honour to introduce you to a once poor boy with a great work ethic, Henry Kallan.

Photo credit: al Nanasi, La Femme HU

In 1968, at the age of 21, Henry Kallan immigrated to New York from Czechoslovakia with less than a few shekels in this pocket, no formal education, and most significantly, unable to speak a word of English.


Today, Henry is one of the renowned names in boutique hotels with seven hotels: Hotel Elysee, Casablanca Hotel, Hotel Giraffe and the Library Hotel, all in New York City, The Aria Hotel Prague, The Aria Hotel Budapest and the most recently opened, Hotel X Toronto. Collectively, this group of luxury hotels is known as The Library Hotel Collection.

The Journey Henry was born in a small community on the Hungary-Slovak border where he came from a modest farming family. During the communist takeover, his father refused to capitulate to their wishes and was jailed for five years After receiving amnesty, the family was forced to move to Bratislava, Slovakia where Henry lived until he was 20 years old. In 1968, he immigrated to New York, without the benefit of speaking English and only with the change in his pocket. Henry’s first job in New York paid $1.56 an hour before he landed his first job at the Gotham Hotel as a busboy, which launched his life in the hotel world. His continued growth opportunities didn’t occur by happenchance. Henry knew that one of the most expeditious ways to grow in the hotel industry and improve his English skills was to work at the front desk. Henry took a chance and offered to work the front desk for three weeks without pay and he has not looked back. After working at the front desk and polishing his English, he earned his way to being the Front Office Manager at the Delmonico Hotel and from there, moved to the prestigious Drake Hotel.

I tend to think I am a happy and positive individual, and I try to create a happy environment for my employees and guests. I encourage staff to be free, to be themselves and empower them to make the right decisions for the benefit of both the guests and the hotel. —Henry Kallan

Henry wanted the opportunity to grow but the traditional way was not fast enough for this enthusiastic and passionate individual. Six months into his position at the Drake Hotel, Henry asked the General Manager if he could learn the business from soup-to-nuts. Three years later, Henry knew every aspect of operating a hotel. Ironically, the Gotham Hotel, where Henry started 20 years ago as a busboy, asked if he would return and help the hotel become profitable, Henry accepted the challenge. The success didn’t go unnoticed as the famous Loews Hotel offered Henry the General Manager position at their 500 room Warwick Hotel. After 12 years, Henry successfully helped Warwick Hotel achieve a global presence. Henry had the skills, the knowledge, the confidence, and the greatest challenge, his fluency in English, was no longer an issue. The time was now to plunge from the security blanket of being an employee to the dangling rope of ownership. With a toolbox filled with confidence, experience, and hotelspecific skills at the highest level, Henry purchased the dilapidated Hotel Wales and created the first boutique hotel in New York. This is where he launched his signature concept of a beautiful rooftop garden, an all-day club room, free

breakfast, and a wine and hors d’oeuvres evening reception. Most importantly, the hotel offered the best value in New York.

be a surprise to anyone as Henry is one of the ‘good guys’ and at the end of the day, the families we support win the day.

Henry sold his interest in the property in the early 1990s to pursue the purchase and restoration of Hotel Elysee, followed by the Casablanca Hotel in 1996; Hotel Giraffe in 1999; and the Library Hotel in 2000, all in New York. The brand expanded with the first international project in 2003 with Aria Hotel Prague and Aria Hotel Budapest opened in 2015. His foray into the Canadian market was launched in 2018 with the opening of the magnificent 400 plus room, Hotel X Toronto situated on the scenic waterfront of Lake Ontario. Theoretically not a boutique hotel, it certainly has every attribute of the signature concept of Henry’s boutique hotels.

The Foundation is honoured to have Hotel X Toronto as an integral part of the next fundraising event An Intimate Evening with David Foster, A Night on Broadway in May.

The journey from busboy to hotelier was a 50-year marathon and Henry Kallan is still running.

The Philanthropist When Henry met David Foster in late 2018 and became familiar with the Foundation which supports families going through the life-saving organ transplant process, he didn’t hesitate to become a generous supporter. It won’t

Acknowledge excerpts from Margie Goldsmith article ”Immigrant Goes From Busboy To Hotel General Manager in Seven Years” Forbes, February 1, 2019 and Nicole Carlino…..Q&A with Henry Kallan, Hotel Business, February 7, 2017.

Lessons learned by John Danson After reading many articles about Henry’s road to success and perhaps more importantly, the time I have spent with Henry, I realize that the lessons learned are many. When I think of Henry, the following words come to mind from a personal perspective: integrity, family, friendship, passion, principled. From a business perspective, Henry’s words of wisdom resonate with me, “My roles changed but my principles remained the same.”

The David Foster Foundation


Appointment as Honourary Colonel

onel Renato cer Lieutenant Col ichael ffi O ng di an m Com ourary Colonel M Duarte (l) with Hon official ceremony. e Ravenhill (r) at th


he David Foster Foundation is proud to announce that the David Foster Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Michael Ravenhill, has been appointed as the Canadian Armed Forces Honourary Colonel 410 Tactical Fighter Operational Training Squadron during a special ceremony on Friday, December 3, 2021 at MCAS Miramar. The appointment of Michael as an Honorary Colonel represents the culmination of over 35 years of leadership within his Canadian and U.S. business ventures, philanthropic efforts such as the David Foster Foundation, and outreach among the community at large. His passion for helping people and his ability to see opportunities has resulted in Michael being highly respected as a transformational leader. “It was a great honour to invest HCol Ravenhill as the new Honorary Colonel of 410 Tactical Fighter Squadron,” said Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Renato Duarte, Commanding Officer 410 TF (OT), Canadian Armed Forces. “A distinguished professional and leader, HCol Ravenhill’s experience in securing and applying resources to deliver outstanding results, as well as his personal and moral dedication to the well-being


Spring 2022

Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Renato Duarte (l) with Honourary Colonel Michael Ravenhill (r) presented with the official order at the Investiture Ceremony.

Honou rary Colonel Mi fa mily at the official chael Ravenhill with his ceremony.

of others, will undoubtably be of great value and impact to 410 and the RCAF. I look forward to working with him on key initiatives, and once again welcome him and his wonderful family into the greater 410 family.” The investiture also maintains a long and proud tradition. Michael’s admiration and respect for the Canadian Armed Forces and the Air Force came from being the son of a World War II Royal Air Force veteran, Kenneth William John Ravenhill. He worked in support of the British air and ground forces, and little did he know that one mission he was called on involved flying highly classified orders for the historic D-Day Invasion— 24 hours before the planned invasion. “I am incredibly honoured and humbled to receive this appointment,” says Michael Ravenhill, Chief Executive Officer at The David Foster Foundation. “I look forward to continuing the great work of our Honorary Colonels that have come before me to provide a valuable link between the Canadian Armed Forces and the community, and further build upon the ‘esprit de corps’ that has made the Canadian Armed Forces so respected worldwide.” In attendance to help celebrate this prestigious Invocation were Michael’s

family and close friends, famed Canadian producer David Foster and his wife Katharine McPhee Foster, and well-known Canadian businessman and TV personality Jim Treliving. David Foster was pleased to offer support and congratulations after the investiture: “It would take me a very long time to come up with a name of a more deserving person to receive this honour. The Honourable Colonel Michael Ravenhill has devoted much of his life to the service of others. He is kind, hardworking, honest, very smart, uniquely creative and an extremely devoted family man to his wife, Cassandra, and their two daughters, Amanda and Emily, and their respective growing families. In my opinion, the RCAF won the lottery when they chose Mike. His vast knowledge of the world around us will serve our military in the most profound ways, ways in which we will see beautifully unfold in the next few years. When you bring the best of military (the 410) and the best of civilians (Colonel Mike) together, the sky is the limit. I can’t wait to see possibilities become reality as the Honourable Colonel Michael Ravenhill embraces his new role with all the fire power of the mighty F18.”


Wings & Wheels Partnership I n 2020, Mark and Alora McAlister resolved to create an opportunity for young, talented, diverse racing drivers to advance to the next level in motorsports. They founded the Wing and Wheels Foundation to help fund racing costs for drivers lacking the financial means to race. It is the intention of this organization to create Future Stars of racing.

Mark McAllister, the Founder of Wings and Wheels Foundation, said, “My wife, Alora, and I, could not be more proud of the incredible team we have assembled to give our future star’s the best possible training and experience available. In 2011, The David Foster Foundation partnered with The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indy Car Racing series to promote “Be a donor, save a life.” This major partnership promotion created awareness and education of the importance of becoming a registered organ donor. The promotion was a tremendous success due to the involvement of Indy Car drivers who lent their voice for this important cause along with the generous gift from Chevrolet of the #1 Series off the assembly line of the Camaro Pace car.

We are thrilled to partner with Wings and Wheels Foundation and Future Star Racing as they develop and mentor some of the upcoming future stars. It seems such a great partnership as both David Foster, Al Unser, Jr., and the team at Wings and Wheels Foundation have a love of racing and similar passions to help future racing stars in their respective organizations. —Mike Ravenhill, CEO of the David Foster Foundation

Life Legacy Members

Kyle MacDonald & John Franklin Newton Glassman Charitable Foundation in Partnership with Catalyst Capital Group

I am excited about the opportunity to join forces with Al Unser, Jr. to help young drivers succeed and create “Future Stars.”

Jim Pattison Walter & Maria Schneider

—David Foster, Founder & Chairman The promotion winner received the 2011 Pace Car and was also given the thrill of riding in the pace car on the parade lap for the 100th Anniversary of The Indianapolis 500 race where David Foster, Kelly Clarkston, and Seal performed the Nation Anthem in front of untold millions worldwide. David Foster has been a fan of racing his entire life and has attended many races over the years. His uncle was Indy Car Driver Billy Foster, a very close friend of Mario Andretti. With his passion for racing, David said,” I am excited about the opportunity to join forces with Al Unser, Jr. to help young drivers succeed and create “Future Stars.” It has been a passion of mine for many years to find and mentor young talent in the music industry. This is a wonderful extension of that to partner with Wings and Wheels Foundation and Al Unser, Jr. to give these future stars in racing the opportunity to be the best they can be.”

Jim & Sandi Treliving Joan & Paul Waechter

National Partners

Cares for Kids

Community Partners

The David Foster Foundation is creating an alliance with Wings and Wheels Foundation and Future Star Racing. Both organizations will be working together to promote the missions of their foundations in 2022. The David Foster Foundation


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