SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – A benefit concert featuring legendary Bay Area rocker Neil Young and hip hop artist Will.I.Am was expected to raise several million dollars to help build a new hospital complex now under construction in San Francisco.

A little over a month after its official groundbreaking, the new UC San Francisco Women’s, Children’s and Cancer Hospitals at Mission Bay had the daunting task of raising hundreds of millions of dollars to build the new complex.  The high-profile musicians answered the call to chip in, with a special benefit concert planned for Wednesday in San Francisco.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

Young recently agreed to headline The Concert for UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital at the Nob Hill Masonic Auditorium.

“He’s donating his time. We sought him out because of his lifelong support of children, largely through the amazing work that he’s done at the Bridge School. And we really learned a lot from him there,” explained Suzanne DiBianca, executive director of the Foundation.

Salesforce founder Mark Benioff and his wife, Lynn, pledged $100 million to help build the new hospital.

That left UCSF with a need to raise an additional $200 million, to complete funding of the $1.5 billion facility.

“We’re doing it in spite of the economy,” stressed Mark Laret, CEO of the UCSF Medical Center. “And we think it will actually help the economy to have these jobs and we’ll have 1,000 or so people working on this project within the year or so.”

“It’s going to give us a great opportunity to not only have nice new facilities there at Mission Bay, but it will allow us at our Parnassus Heights campus to expand the services that we currently offer here, because we’ll have vacated three floors here,” Laret added.

Besides Young and Will.I.Am from the Black Eyed Peas, former Secretary of State Colin Powell was also expected to make appearances at Wednesdays’ benefit, which was predicted to bring in about $3 million.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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