West Chester U. Theatre Students Shatter Fundraising Goals at 20th Annual Benefit

Broadway Cares 20th Annual BenefitWest Chester University theatre students shattered records by raising $20,267 to support the New York-based Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids, a non-profit that provides services to those living with AIDS and HIV. The student-led University Theatre group staged four benefit performances and a silent auction on December 6 - 8. It is the most the program has raised in its 20-year history.
The student directed and produced benefit is a variety show that includes a performance by each class in the Department of Theatre, as well as performances from various campus arts groups. In total, the event involved approximately 120 West Chester University students and some alumni.

The West Chester event is one of the largest outside sources of funding for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids. Last year’s benefit raised over $17,000 in proceeds from the auction, ticket sales and donations, the highest amount raised in the event’s history.

Tom Viola, the Executive Director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids, says, “We are so grateful for the passionate and hardworking students at West Chester University, who have raised more than $140,000 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids over these last 20 years. These tenacious and dedicated students are leading the charge of young people creating advocacy and action through the arts. Their creativity, good will and commitment to social justice is the wind in our sails upon which we all will ride into the future.”

Producer Josh Waltz, a senior Theatre major from Delaware, says “Broadway Cares was chosen as the beneficiary for this event because of their natural tie to the theatre community. Over these last 20 years we have come to know the administrators and the organization quite well.  I love supporting them and being a part of this event. It is worth all of the many hours and effort we put into it.”

A silent auction was held in the lobby prior to each performance with many items donated by the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids office in New York. Items included Broadway memorabilia and restaurant gift cards.

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