Sir Elton John Sings for CF at Liv
February 15, 2008
Like many successful CF fund-raising events the world over, the Liv charity benefit in London on January 31 started with two determined parents and a close group of enthusiastic friends. By the end of an illustrious evening starring Sir Elton John, nearly five million dollars had been raised on behalf of the UK’s Cystic Fibrosis Trust and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Sir Elton John takes a moment to pose with Darren Dein before the benefit.
Named for Olivia, Sara and Darren Dein’s 2 ½-year-old daughter who has CF, Liv started out as a small idea and kept on growing. “Some friends came to Darren and me and said they wanted to do some charity work,” says Sara Dein, “and knowing Olivia as they did, they thought CF was the right disease to focus on.” Barcelona soccer player Thierry Henry, Darren’s best friend, knew many famous sports and entertainment figures, including Elton John, and enlisted them for the cause. “
The whole thing just blossomed,” says Sara. “We did all the PR and mailing straight from my dining room table, and we were amazed and delighted by the turnout. Liv exceeded our wildest expectations.”
The Liv concert is named after 2 1/2 year old Olivia Dein, who has CF.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah, whose son Fraser has CF, joined the Deins and Elton John (when he wasn’t regaling the audience from the stage) at the head table. Liv’s 420 guests, a virtual “who’s who” of Britain’s biggest soccer, entertainment, and business luminaries, also enjoyed comedy sketches by performers from Little Britain, the UK’s hugely popular television show.
Darren and Sara Dein welcomed Prime Minister Gordon Brown and wife Sarah, whose son Fraser has CF.
“It was important to us to include both the CF Trust and the CF Foundation in sharing the proceeds,” says Sara. She explains that Darren had been to the United States and met with CF Foundation President and CEO Robert J. Beall, Ph.D. and was impressed by his and the Foundation’s passionate dedication to finding a cure.
C. Richard Mattingly, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the CF Foundation worked with the Deins throughout their development of the event. “I can’t say enough good things about Sara and Darren,” he says. “Their generosity is astounding. It is people like the Deins who make our efforts to battle CF possible. They inspire us, and give us hope for all those with CF throughout the world.”
Learn more about Liv at www.give2liv.com.