River4Ward 2017: Another epic day on the Yarra!

It was another show-stopping day on the banks of the iconic Yarra River as Sony Foundation’s third annual River4Ward took place.

With a stellar line up of FIVE Sony Music artists, Daryl Braithwaite, Jessica Mauboy, Dami Im, Anthony Callea and recent Eurovision contestant, Isaiah, guests were wowed as these stars performed from the now infamous custom-built floating stage. The performers well and truly rocked the river as Melbourne’s favourite long lunch raised a record $640,000 for Sony Foundation’s youth cancer program, You Can.

Celebrities including Sony Foundation ambassadors Richard Wilkins, Natalie Bassingthwaighte as well as Tim Campbell and Giaan Rooney hosted the event as nearly 400 guests were treated to incredible performances, fine dining and fundraising. The day ended in spectacular style with all five Sony Music performers hitting the stage together with a never-before-seen rendition of Braithwaite’s classic, ‘The Horses’. You Can Champion, Christie Allan, received a well-deserved standing ovation following her speech on the experience of enduring a lonely and at-times, isolating cancer journey. Christie’s heartfelt plea for the ongoing support of Australia’s youth cancer patients truly struck a chord with guests.

“We are ecstatic to have raised such a phenomenal amount in our third River4Ward event. It is truly heart-warming to see corporate, government, celebrities and media networks come together to raise serious funds for You Can” said Sony Foundation CEO, Sophie Ryan. “Sony Foundation is determined to fill the gap between adult and paediatric care by building specialised youth cancer centres and services for Australia’s young cancer patients. The large scale funding event that River4Ward has become, allows this to happen.”

River4Ward is raising funds for Sony Foundation’s youth cancer program, ‘You Can’. Funds raised are directed to the building of a specialised youth cancer centres around Australia for 15-25 year olds with cancer. This year’s River4Ward will also fund Sony Foundation’s ‘virtual You Can Centre’ to be known as ‘The You Can Network’. This online platform will enable young patients, their families and friends to connect with those going through similar issues regardless of their proximity to a physical You Can Centre.

Following a $1.5 million donation from Sony Foundation, Australia’s second You Can Centre was opened at the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre in Parkville in August last year. Since opening, over 550 teenage and young adult patients have received treatment at the world class centre.

The Guitar of a Legend…

In a Sony Foundation event auction first, this year’s River4Ward saw the auction of the iconic Fender Esquire guitar, signed by rock king, Bruce Springsteen! Valued Sony Foundation supporter, digiDIRECT Managing Director Shant Kradjian was the lucky bidder to take home this piece of rock history. Shant recently popped into Sony Music HQ to pick up his purchase. Safe to say, he looks pretty happy with it! We’ll be waiting to hear the classic hits you’ll write with your new guitar Shant!