The Sarah Grace Foundation For Children With Cancer, Inc. is gearing up for its 2nd Annual Theatrical Fundraiser.
This year, the Long Island-based non-profit corporation dedicated to helping children and their families facing the financial and emotional challenges and hardships brought upon by childhood cancer, will present "Unrehearsed: A Night of Improv" on June 1 and June 2.
The fun and family-oriented show, said Foundation founder Matt Weippert, will be similar to the popular improvisational comedy television show Whose Line Is It Anyway? "This is a great show featuring an extremely talented cast," said Weippert.
Proceeds from "A Night of Improv" will benefit The Sarah Grace Foundation, which was established in 2003 by Matt and Marissa Weippert in memory of their daughter, Sarah Grace, who was just 12 years old when she lost her battle with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
For the past nine years, the Weipperts have dedicated themselves to keeping Sarah's memory alive while, at the same time, improving the quality of life of children with cancer and offering comfort and support to their families
The all-volunteer, non-profit Foundation works directly with social workers and staff members from the Pediatric Oncology Departments at various New York hospitals to provide financial support and meet children's wishes. The Foundation sponsors holiday parties, “The Bead Program," books; and is the Long Island/New York regional sponsor of the "Gabe's Chemo Duck Program." Because cancer impacts the entire family, many of the services offered by the Foundation are extended to both the child undergoing treatment as well as their siblings.
To continually provide these services, The Sarah Grace Foundation relies heavily on donations and proceeds from various fundraising events, including sales of custom Christopher Radko Heart and Angel collector pieces and garage sales as well as its annual Night of Laughter and Alumni Hockey Game.
In 2011, James Weippert, a theater major at Adelphi University, had the idea to hold a theatrical fundraiser in an effort to honor his sister and raise money for the Foundation. The end result was a hilarious production of The Odd Couple, which attracted a stellar crowd.
"These fundraising events enable us to continually help children and families in need," said Weippert. "We are ecstatic that James and the cast are devoting their talent to the children we serve. The end result will be a night out filled with laughs for the entire family."
The show will star Hicksville residents Potoula Anagnostakos, John Ortiz, Mike Pagano and James Weippert and will be hosted by Matthew Waldman. Additionally, this year's show is again being directed by Malverne native David Coonan.
"Unreheased: A Night of Improv" will be held at 7 p.m. on both Friday, June 1 and Saturday, June 2 in the Hicksville United Methodist Church Social Hall, 130 West Old Country Road, Hicksville. Tickets, which can be purchased in advance or at the door, are $12 per person. To purchase advance tickets, visit www.TheSarahGraceFoundation.org. or call the Foundation at (516) 433-9745. For additional information or to make a donation to The Sarah Grace Foundation For Children With Cancer, Inc. email Matt.Weippert@thesarahgracefoundation.org.