NEW YORK, NY--A trio of fundraising efforts on behalf of Behind the Scenes culminated in March with over $11,000 raised. From industry veterans to high school students, people are turning their passion for the industry into action and caring for their current and future colleagues.
Richard Wolperts brainchild was Pedaling to Benefit Behind the Scenes, a 754 mile, 12 day bicycle trip from Springfield, MO to Houston, TX in time for the USITT Conference. Riding at an average speed of 12 mph and covering as much as 78 miles in a day, Richard, got a chance to see an America that lies hidden behind highway signs, Interstate highways and suburban sprawl. The America many of us feel in our bones but have lost in the rush of day-to-day demands. Richard was joined for the first 72 miles by Rob Schraft and for the last 274 miles by Jeni Lyn Anderson.
On March 15th, the Mount Vernon High School Chapter of USITT held its second annual Short Reach Short Riders Tricycle Ride for Behind the Scenes. A cold and wet morning greeted the thirty eight high school riders as they competed in relays, sprints, and the Enduro. Winners of this years races were: RelayTeam Sapsis, SprintElliot Kress, and EnduroPeter Jackson. Dana Taylor, the schools USITT sponsor, commented on why the students are committed to fundraising for those Behind the Scenes is helping, these are not strangers, these people are us in a few years, they will be our colleagues, our friends.
At the USITT Conference, Michelle Kokal, this years Philanthropy Chair for the Penn State Student Chapter of USITT, accompanied by chapter members, presented a check to Behind the Scenes that was the culmination of two years of fundraising efforts. The group came up with a host of fun and imaginative fundraising activities including charging to use the restrooms during performances of Urinetown, magazine sales, gift baskets, and working the counter at Cold Stone Creamery. Michelle praised the members of the chapter saying, Despite the fact that each fundraising event was a new experience for just about every member of our organization, I am happy to say that everyone remained supportive and dedicated to this cause. I am extremely proud of your willingness to volunteer your time and hard work.
The ESTA Foundation's Behind the Scenes program provides entertainment technology industry members with grants for emergency situations, such as serious illness, injury or death. For more information about Behind the Scenes, to donate, or to apply for a grant, visit www.estafoundation.org/bts.htm.