Celine Dion draws a sellout crowd to fundraiser concert

Celine Dion holds up a crystal pineapple she received after performing a benefit concert Friday, Dec. 16, in Miami Beach. Dion entertained a sellout crowd in gratitude to the Baptist Cardiac & Vascular Institute, whose physicians led by Dr. Barry Katzen saved the life of her husband, René Angélil (left).

Celine Dion donated a private concert on Friday, Dec. 16, to a sellout audience to benefit the expansion of Baptist Cardiac & Vascular Institute in Miami.

Dion gave her performance in gratitude to the Institute for the lifesaving procedure carried out on her husband, René Angélil, under the leadership of Dr. Barry Katzen, the Institute’s founder and medical director.

Dion gave details in a video presented with her husband at the event.

“It started a little over two and a half years ago. We had quite a scare,” she said. “Our family doctors discovered that René had a critical narrowing of the artery to his brain, the carotid artery, putting him at a high risk for stroke.”

Angélil said he wasn’t a candidate for surgery so his doctors looked for a less invasive approach.

“They had heard about [Dr. Katzen’s] work with non-invasive treatments and they basically told me he was the best person to take care of me,” Angélil said.

The audience of 1,700 enjoyed a reception before the 8 p.m. concert at The Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater. The presenting sponsor for the event, Audemars Piguet, official timekeeper of Baptist Hospital, hosted an exclusive dinner after the show.

The expansion will include the development of a national Center for Aneurysm Therapy, Center for Advanced Endovascular and Structural Heart Therapy and other specialty centers. The concert raised $6 million, including campaign-related contributions.

Event benefactor Victor E. Clarke, an honorary board member of the Baptist Health Foundation, will match all contributions up to $5 million for the capital campaign.

“Baptist Cardiac & Vascular Institute has been ahead of its time for the past 25 years, and this expansion will allow its leadership team to take the Institute to the next level in cardiovascular excellence,” said Brian Keeley, CEO and president of Baptist Health South Florida.

The event’s chairs were Armando and Margarita Codina and James and Susan Carr, and co-chairs were Micky and Madeleine Arison. Honorary chairs were Dr. Barry and Judith Katzen.

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