School-Age Theatre Lovers Raise Over $1 Million for Broadway Cares/EFA
By Adam Hetrick
The International Thespian Society, which unites high school and middle school theatre students, has raised over $1 million in support of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
The announcement was made last week during the International Thespian Society's annual festival, which takes place each year at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, NE. The gathering welcomes more than 3,000 students, teachers and administrators annually.
The students raised the funds through audience appeals, bucket brigades, silent auctions and special performances in their schools. Fundraising is also incorporated throughout the annual festival.
The partnership between the International Thespian Society and Broadway Cares began with Troupe 5464 at North Penn High School in Lansdale, PA, in 1999. The initiative spread to other schools, raising more than $10,000 in its first year.
"Thespians know how to affect change by working together and celebrating their love of theatre," said Joe Norton, BC/EFA's director of education and outreach, in a statement. "And, in the process, they become leaders who raise awareness about HIV/AIDS where they live, while making a difference for so many people in need in their local communities and around the country."
Broadway Cares executive director Tom Viola added, "These talented students combine their creativity and boundless energy with a genuine sense of caring for one another. They know that theatre is about so much more than just performing. It's about coming together as a community and this next generation of inspirational actors are leading by example, not only for their classmates but for all of us."
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is the nation's leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grants making organization. By drawing upon the talents, resources and generosity of the American theatre community, BC/EFA raises funds for AIDS-related causes and other critical illnesses across the United States. Since its founding in 1988, BC/EFA has raised over $195 million dollars for critically needed services for people with AIDS and other serious illnesses.
For more information about Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, visit the BC/EFA website at broadwaycares.org or call (212) 840-0770.
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