One of my favorite thing about my community theatre group, CAST, is the family atmosphere. My mom, dad, brother, and I all performed in my first show with this awesome group in 1996. Today, my husband and I perform together each year. We are joined by many other families, both on stage and behind the scenes.
By spending so much time together (three to four days a week from January through late April, early May), the theatre group becomes a family. By this time of year, we are acting like a close family, with love, friendship, laughter, and yes, even an occasional disagreement.
Despite the times when we don’t see eye-to-eye (and really, when can you get almost 100 people together and have them always agree on everything), one thing remains–we are there for one another. If someone is in need, we are all there, ready to jump in and help in any way we can.
This year, we instituted a program that embodies that attitude of help others, both in our organization and in our community. “Families Helping Families” helps our CAST family help families in the community that have a financial need. This year, we are helping a local teacher, Heather Oaks, who is battling cancer; and a fellow CAST member, Karen DeLabar, who is recovering from toxic shock syndrome.
We are asking for donation for these two families at each of our shows. The organization will match the donations and split the money raised between the two families. It is our hope that this program will help to relieve some of the financial stress these families are facing, allowing them to focus on their recovery.
The lovely Boylan Sisters, checking out the Orange Karen Anthology. (Karen is in the middle.)
In addition to being a fellow CAST member, Karen DeLabar is also a romance writer and a great friend. (Some of you may remember our first steps into blogging, when we teamed up for Have Coffee… Will Write). In addition “Families Helping Families”, a group of talented writers came together to write an anthology, Orange Karen: A Tribute to Warrior, for Karen’s benefit. The book, on sale now in both paperback and eBook, features almost forty short stories across a variety of genres. All proceeds from the sale of the anthology will go to Karen’s still-mounting medical bills.
If you are interested in finding out more about Karen or her illness, check out her website. More about the anthology can be found on the Orange Karen site. The book can be purchased online at Amazon or Createspace.
If you are local to the Lehigh Valley and would like more information about CAST or our shows, please visit our website. Of course, our production of Annie continues this weekend (April 26-28, 2013), and tickets are still available–feel free to come check it out!
Are you part of an organization that is always ready to step up and help those in need? Do you have any groups or teams you are a part of that feel like they are a part of your family? We would love to hear about them in the comments!