The cast and crew of NBC’s supernatural drama “Grimm” hosted the second Grimm Gala on Feb. 16, raising $386,000 for the endowment that “Grimm” actor Sasha Roiz established for Portland’s OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.
All proceeds from the gala event — presented by NBCUniversal and Comcast — benefited Roiz’s Grimmster Endowment, which provides financial support to hospital patients’ families for uncompensated costs like travel and lodging.
The funds were raised from a combination of individual ticket sales, sponsorships, donations and an auction — which included “Grimm” props and limited-edition “Grimm”-customized Nike shoes, which were signed by both Michael Jordan and legendary Air Jordan designer Tinker Hatfield. This year’s Grimm Gala also spotlighted the families of two children from the hospital.
“I’m always impressed with the generosity of the people here in Portland,” Roiz, who now serves on OHSU Doernbecher’s board of directors, told Variety. “I really believe that charity begins at home. By home, I mean your community. If we just take care of our communities we could impact so much. This community is a really tremendous example of how a city can come together. I never grow tired of seeing that.”
Also crucial to the success of the gala were “Grimm’s” fans, otherwise known as Grimmsters. Of the $386,000 raised at the event, over $70,000 was contributed by fans through an Omaze.com campaign. With each donation fans earned an entry into a raffle to win an all-expense-paid visit to Portland to spend a day on “Grimm’s” set with Roiz and the rest of the cast. The winner will also be transformed into a Wesen (a mystical “Grimm” creature), courtesy of the show’s makeup team and special effects department.
“Not only do they help spread me through the word through social media and through advocacy and so on, this year they have the opportunity to really jump on board,” said Roiz of “Grimm’s” fan base.
Unfamiliar with Portland until booking “Grimm” (which is filmed in the city), Roiz became acquainted with OHSU Doernbecher through occasional group visits the cast would pay to the children at the hospital. Through these visits, Roiz learned of the hospital’s prestige and of the distance families travel to access the renowned facility’s quality services. Thus, he began the process of establishing and funding an endowment, which he titled the Grimmster Endowment after the show’s fans. Once Roiz secured Comcast and NBC as event sponsors, planning for the inaugural Grimm Gala commenced.
Tickets for that first gala, held in February 2015, sold out, and proceeds totaled $310,000 following the conclusion of the event. This year’s Grimm Gala was partially sold out before the event date was even announced. While Roiz revealed that the venue for 2017’s event has already been booked, he admitted that it’ll likely be the final Grimm Gala. However, as long as OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital remains open, the Grimmster Endowment will continue to grow and benefit patients in need. Further donations can be made here.
“It will be such a fantastic legacy to leave behind after we’re gone, to thank the city and commemorate our time spent here,” said Roiz.