It was a dream come true. For 25 years, Kendra Sprinkling worked as a professional singer with stars such as BB King and Taj Mahal. She had been living in San Francisco when she received an invitation to play a fundraising gig in Vancouver. David Harrison, of the Arts Club, was putting together Starry Nights, a fundraiser for AIDS, a mysterious disease that wasnt really even recognized in Vancouver at the time. She couldnt say no.
In San Francisco, Sprinkling had seen first-hand the effect of this horrendous disease. Sadly, in 1995, Harrison passed away from AIDS but he made sure to leave his fundraiser in good hands. Sprinkling took over and founded The Shooting Stars Foundation one of the most successful non-profit organizations in Vancouver.
I changed careers without even knowing it. It was the most organic process possible, she admits.
Combined with her direct experience as a performer, Sprinkling credits the longevity and success of Shooting Stars events to a platform that is a win-win for everyone involved. The upcoming Motown Meltdown is a perfect example of this symbiotic relationship.
Everyone involved contributes their time for free, explains Sprinkling. There are 25 performers for the show and they love the networking factory that the backstage inevitably becomes. The band loves it because they get to play with 12 people and that big band experience is like no other. The audience gets to enjoy a show that no producer could afford to produce. And, something Im most proud of, is that for our sponsors, we guarantee that with every dollar donated to the foundation, we can double that.
So far, Shooting Stars Foundation has raised $1.8 million for direct-service AIDS agencies in Vancouver with five annual events. With the help of an incredible board and an army of loyal volunteers, Sprinkling puts on Motown Meltdown, Fit For A Queen, Gambado! Dinner and Auction, Undercover Wine Tasting and Starry Night, giving Vancouverites a good reason to get out and eat, drink and dance the night away, while contributing to a very worthy cause.
Motown Meltdown is March 23 at the Commodore Ballroom (868 Granville). Advanced tickets are $30 and available at TicketMaster.ca. Theres a second Motown Meltdown at the Boulevard Casino in Coquitlam on April 6.