October 22, 2014 | « back

BOSTONGLOBE.COM — Taylors make large donation to support work of MGH doctor

By Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein

Singer James Taylor and his wife, Kim, were among the attendees at Saturday’s Storybook Ball, an annual fund-raiser for the MassGeneral Hospital for Children, and they came bearing a substantial gift.

The Taylors announced a $500,000 donation to help Mass. General’s chief of plastic and reconstructive surgery, Dr. William Gerald (Jay) Austen Jr., expand his efforts to provide surgery to needy children.

For two weeks each year, Austen — whose dad W. Gerald Austen was chief of surgical services at MGH for nearly three decades and a founding trustee of Partners HealthCare System — leads a group of surgeons to Cartagena, Colombia, to perform surgery on children with burns, and cleft lip and palate deformities. (In 2014, the Cartagena Surgical Mission team saw more than 200 young patients and completed 53 successful operations in a 10-day period.)

“Dr. Austen’s passion and dedication to helping children and giving them a new life — it just feels good when someone is doing work like that,” Kim Taylor told us before the event. “We also feel a longstanding connection to MGH through James’s father, a physician there for many years, and we’re grateful that so many of our friends and family have received such excellent care at MGH.” (That includes JT’s 93-year-old mother, who was admitted Thursday.)

As always, Saturday’s Storybook Ball was a fancy affair with a lengthy guest list that included Red Sox (and Boston Globe) owner John Henry and wife Linda; Bruins wives Rebecca Seidenberg, Brittany Lucic, Krissy Kelly, Katrina Marchand, and Stephanie Bergeron; BSO managing director Mark Volpe; comedian Lenny Clarke; author Ben Mezrich and wife Tonya; Parthenon Group’s Bill Achtmeyer and wife Alli; car king Herb Chambers; and party planner Bryan Rafanelli and partner Mark Walsh, deputy chief of protocol at the US State Department.