Artists help Sony Foundation raise $375k for Brisbane youth cancer ward
Sony Music Entertainment artists Guy Sebastian, Dami Im and The Ten Tenors worked with major sports identities to help raise $375,000 for the Sony Foundation’s first project in Brisbane.
Sebastian, who runs his own Sebastian Foundation charity with his wife, interrupted recording sessions for his next album to fly to Brisbane for the day.
The Brissy4Ward event was the first fundraiser for Queensland’s first You Can Centre — a ward for cancer patients aged 15 to 25, which is set to open next May at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.
The Sony Foundation has committed $1.8 million towards the project.
It will be a hub for clinical research to advance treatment and increase survival rates.
The Centre will also be a social haven away from the hospital wards with relaxation areas, the latest Sony entertainment technology, kitchen/dining, areas for study, yoga and consult rooms, an outdoor courtyard and a space for young people to be together, providing peer support.
25-year-old cancer patient Rachel Gray told the 450 Brissy4Ward guests at the Grove, “This Centre will make such a huge difference to so many young people fighting cancer and provide a place they can go to and relax, hang out with friends and family, be away from the clinical environment of the ward and share stories with other youths and know they are not alone.”
The night also saw contributions from sports identities as Johnathan Thurston, Giaan Rooney, Kevin Walters, Susie O’Neill and Ben Roberts-Smith.
Rugby League legend Thurston, a Pink tragic, bid $9,000 – well over the asking price – for a Sony Music package which included CDs, DVDs, concert tickets for Pink and Sam Smith, and an autographed Pink denim jacket from her current tour.
Other prizes included luxury holidays as skiing in Japan, tropical resorts and pearl expeditions, League sports figures providing training at a primary school, and breakfast with the Nova breakfast team.
Sony Foundation has funded four You Can Centres in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane to date.
The Centres also aim to ease the alarming lifetime costs for a young person diagnosed with cancer estimated at $1.3 million, of which about 70% is borne by the individual in ongoing health costs and an impact the ability to work.
The Sony Foundation is made up of all Sony divisions in this country, including the record label and publishing operations.
In its 20th year it this year reached a milestone of raising $30 million.