Toronto Festival Raises Over $5 Million Net for Medical Research and Innovation at UHN

Proceeds from the 9th Annual Grand Cru Culinary Wine Festival to benefit Peter Munk Cardiac Centre and McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine.

TORONTO, Nov. 11, 2013 /CNW/ - The 9th annual Grand Cru Culinary Wine Festival, Canada's premier wine and culinary fundraiser for medical research and innovation, presented by Rogers, raised over $5 million net to support groundbreaking scientific research and fund key program areas at Toronto General Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital, UHN. Proceeds from this year's Festival will benefit the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre and the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine where funds will be used collaboratively for research in heart, arthritis, vision and diabetes. Since its inception in 2005, the Festival has now raised more than $16.4 million dollars.

For Festival Pass Holders, the event took place November 1 and 2.  More than 2,000 guests were in attendance at the Halpern Portfolio Wine Tasting on Friday, November 1 at the Allstream Centre. In addition, over 600 guests attended the sold-out Grand Cru Culinary Wine Festival Live Auction later that evening, where 55 unique experiential and luxury lots, including rare wines, raised over $1 million. Highlights included the all new 2014 Range Rover Sport Autobiography: The Most Dynamic Land Rover Yet, which sold for $125,000; an Up Close and Personal one-of-a-kind experience with Polar Bears in Churchill, Manitoba went for $27,000; and a three-night stay for two couples at Castello di Ama, plus three (3) 9L bottles, went for $60,000.  This and other packages were so popular they sold twice.

Grand Cru Founder and Co-Chair Todd Halpern and Co-Chairs Cheryl McEwen and Anthony S. Fell were at the Live Auction event at the Allstream Centre on Friday, November 1, accompanied by a star-studded line-up of attendees including Goldie Hawn (The Banger Sisters, Town & Country), Kiefer Sutherland (24, Touch) and Eric Braeden (The Young and the Restless). They were also joined by Kevin Frankish, Breakfast Television Co-host, who acted as the Emcee for the Grand Cru Culinary Wine Festival Live Auction that evening.

On November 2nd, the Grand Cru Exclusive Wine & Dine Experience dinners took place. Top chefs including Daniel Boulud, Mark McEwan and Massimo Capra collaborated with acclaimed vintners such as Château Latour, Château Margaux and Antinori to create customized dinner menus and wine pairings in 30 spectacular private homes across the city for guests. Each home also hosted a world-renowned University Health Network physician.

"Now in its 9th year, Grand Cru has truly become a signature event for the University Health Network and has garnered the loyal support of sponsors, supporters and international guests," said Todd Halpern, Founder and Co-Chair, Grand Cru Culinary Wine Festival. "Year after year, we continue to surpass our own expectations - and this year's Festival was no different. We are so grateful to the star UHN physicians and researchers, chefs, vintners and supporters that keep coming back to support the Festival year after year," continued Mr. Halpern.

Additional Festival sponsors included Miele and Grand Touring Automobiles.

For further information about Grand Cru, including a full list of sponsors, participating hosts, chefs, wine estates and UHN scientists, please visit www.grandcru.ca.

You can also follow the Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation on Twitter at @tgwhf or like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tgwhf. For Grand Cru-related communications, use #GrandCru2013.

ABOUT TORONTO GENERAL & WESTERN HOSPITAL FOUNDATION

Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation (TGWHF) raises funds for research, education and the enhancement of patient care at Toronto General Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital as well as for their respective research arms, Toronto General Research Institute and Toronto Western Research Institute. The Foundation's vision is to enable global leadership and innovation in healthcare by developing and sustaining strong relationships with University Health Network stakeholders.

www.tgwhf.ca

Image with caption: "Presented by Rogers, the stars came out to support the Grand Cru Culinary Wine Festival, Canada's premier wine and culinary fundraiser for medical research and innovation at UHN, on Friday, November 1, 2013 during the Grand Cru Live Auction. (Left to right) Cheryl McEwen, Grand Cru Co-Chair, Kiefer Sutherland, Goldie Hawn, Eric Braeden, Todd Halpern, Founder and Co-Chair, Grand Cru Culinary Wine Festival. (CNW Group/Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131111_C5953_PHOTO_EN_33183.jpg

Image with caption: "In one of 30 private homes, three-Michelin star Chef Gilles Goujon from Auberge du Vieux Puits in Fontjoncouse, France prepared a sumptuous feast for his Grand Cru guests on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at the Exclusive Wine and Dine Experience. (CNW Group/Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131111_C5953_PHOTO_EN_33174.jpg

Image with caption: "Held biannually, the 2013 Grand Cru Culinary Wine Festival Live Auction featured 55 exceptional lots, including: rare wines, luxury items and one-of-a-kind experiences, raising over $1 million for the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre and the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine where funds will be used collaboratively for research in heart, arthritis, vision and diabetes. (CNW Group/Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131111_C5953_PHOTO_EN_33182.jpg

SOURCE: Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation

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For media inquiries please contact:

Andrea Flanders, Zeno Group
416-849-8942
andrea.flanders@zenogroup.com

For additional images and sponsorship inquiries please contact:

Megan Goldwell, Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation
Manager, Corporate Partnerships and Special Projects
416-340-5240
megan.goldwell@uhn.ca

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