Dream a Little Dream

Salesforce and the Foo Fighters help raise $6.5 million for UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals



Matthew McConaughey. 


Healing arts, big bucks and hot licks were center stage at Chase Center on September 13, where Salesforce CEO and founder Marc Benioff hosted his annual Dreamfest concert for UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals amid his annual Dreamforce cloud conference in San Francisco.

The Foo Fighters, led by grunge icon Dave Grohl, did not disappoint revelers. The band, which also headlined the 2015 Dreamfest concert, is a fave of philanthropist Lynne Benioff, wife of Marc, who is a Seattle native and longtime Foo devotee.

Dreamforce, the globe’s preeminent software tech confab, emphasizes philanthropy and community engagement. This year supporters raised almost $6.5 million for UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals. Since the concert’s 2010 founding, the San Francisco and Oakland hospitals have received more than $100 million to support breakthrough scientific research and world-class care for children.

The sold-out arena — home to NBA champs the Golden State Warriors — was bouncing with celebs, including (Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich), tech execs (VC Tim Draper), top docs (UCSF Chancellor Dr. Sam Hawgood), healthcare leaders (UCSF Health CEO Suresh Gunasekaran), and Hollywood heartthrobs (Matthew McConaughey, also a Salesforce “creative advisor”).


Ed Perks, Maggie Perks, Jan Parker, Jenny Risk, Gerald Risk, and Keely Wolf. 


Yet the beating heart of this fête belonged to 22-year-old basketball player Selah Kitchiner. Sharing the revolving stage with McConaughey, the USC graduate received the 2023 Colin Powell Medal of Courage from Andre Iguodala, a former Warriors’ MVP and All-Star who was recently appointed as a board member to UCSF Foundation.

“In my world you see a lot of philanthropic efforts geared to youth in sports. Now I’m really excited to support UCSF, which is geared to saving lives and finding cures,” said Iguodala, who is inspired by the philanthropic work of Warriors’ owner Joe Lacob and his wife, Nicole Lacob, board president of the Warriors Community Foundation. “I’m honored to be part of UCSF, which is all about change. It’s an inspiring opportunity, giving hope to youths like Selah to reach their dreams.”

In 2015, when she was just 13, Kitchiner was diagnosed with end-stage liver failure. In her first month awaiting a transplant at UCSF’s Mission Bay campus, her father, Damon, died of cancer.

“Courage to me means not only to overcome adversity but also to attack it head-on,” shared Kitchiner. “I’ve become involved in donor advocacy work, especially among marginalized communities. Now I am applying to medical schools all over the country. And UCSF is definitely my number one.”

Kitchiner holds the distinction as the first pediatric patient to receive a solid organ transplant at UCSF’s Mission Bay campus.

“UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital not only allowed me a second chance at life, but it’s also somewhere I will take with me everywhere I go,” she said. “Especially on this journey to become a doctor and be someone for another 13-year-old girl, as UCSF was for me.”


Sam Hawgood, Marc Benioff, and Suresh Gunasekaran. 


Selah Kitchiner and Andre Iguodala.


Tim Draper, Paul Pelosi, and Lauren Lyon. 


Feature image: Dave Grohl.


October 2, 2023

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