Annual Gala Raises Funds to Prevent Pediatric Blindness


U-of-A Drum Line
The University of Arizona
"Pride of Arizona" Marching
Band Drum Line

In its second year, Banner Health Foundation’s The Pulse of the City Soirée kicked off the holiday season on December 2 in unique fashion, beginning with a dramatic entrance by the University of Arizona "Pride of Arizona" Marching Band Drum Line and ending with a pulsating performance by three-time GRAMMY® Award-winning recording group, The Pointer Sisters.

Presented by Envision Physician Services, The Pulse of the Soirée: A Night for Sight benefited the prevention of blindness in high-risk premature babies in Banner Health's Neonatal Intensive Care Units in the Valley and Tucson. 

Guests entered the Omni Resort & Spa at Montelucia through a doorway flanked by beautiful walls of flowers and enjoyed an indoor-outdoor cocktail reception, with live music by the Mel Brown Trio. Guests enjoyed getting an early start on their holiday shopping, browsing one-of-a-kind silent auction items—from a custom-crafted children’s lemonade stand to a pair of beach cruiser bicycles.

Baby Kane and his parents ABC15 Arizona News Now anchor Fay Fredricks welcome guests into the ballroom and hosted the program, welcoming to the stage one of Banner’s world-class pediatric opthalmologists and a family whose young son was saved from irrerversible blindness thanks to timely screening and treatment at Banner Children’s. 

The exciting live auction featured all-inclusive travel and experiences, including a dream vacation to Park City, Utah, including airfare, a private two-bedroom ski condo, and four passes to the Sundance Film Festival, parties and other related events; and an Indy 500 package that included airfare, hotel accommondations, a VIP police escort to the race and exclusive access to the pits and garage area.


Bobby D. Ehlert of Call to Auction hosted the live auction with a zest for the cause and special talent for personalizing, and making inclusive, a large audience setting. 

After dinner and dessert, guests moved into the concert ballroom and took to the dance floor during a high-octane performance by legendary recording group, The Pointer Sisters, performing their chart-topping hits including “He’s So Shy,” “Fire,” “Automatic” and “I’m So Excited.”

As the night came to a close, guests indulged in one last treat—creative after-party snacks including warm-from-the-oven donuts with dipping sauces, and truffle French fries.

Event proceeds will support the Neonatal Intensive Care Units at Banner Estrella Medical Center, Banner Thunderbird Medical Center, Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix, and Banner Children’s at Cardon Children’s Medical Center in Mesa and Diamond Children’s Medical Center in Tucson.