Friday, 03 June 2011 00:00
Join the Sarah Grace Foundation for Children With Cancer, Inc. as it presents The Odd Couple, its first theatrical fundraiser. The fun and family-oriented show is based on Neil Simon’s Broadway play about two men – one a neat freak and the other a slob – attempting to share an apartment despite their lifestyle and housekeeping differences. Performances will take place in the auditorium of Maria Regina RC Church in Seaford on Friday, June 24 and Saturday, June 25.
Proceeds from the production will benefit the Hicksville-based Sarah Grace Foundation For Children With Cancer, Inc., an all volunteer, 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation dedicated to improving the quality of life of children with cancer while at the same time offering comfort and support to their families.
In 2003, Matt and Marissa Weippert of Hicksville established the Foundation in memory of their daughter, Sarah Grace who lost her battle with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at the age of 12. Over the past eight years, the Weipperts, along with their son James, have dedicated themselves to keeping Sarah’s memory alive while helping other children and their families facing the financial and emotional challenges and hardships brought upon by childhood cancer.
To do so, the Sarah Grace Foundation depends on donations from the community and proceeds raised through fundraisers, such as the Annual Night of Laughter and this, its first theatrical fundraiser, which was James Weippert’s idea.
“Our son James, a theatre major at Adelphi University, presented us with the notion of doing a production some months ago,” said Matt Weippert. “He and David Coonan, former theater teacher at Hicksville High School, researched shows that would be cost-efficient to produce while providing clean, family entertainment.”
According to Weippert, The Odd Couple is being directed by Coonan and stars current and past Hicksville students, including James Weippert as “Oscar Madison” and Mike Pagano as “Felix Unger. Additional cast include Mike Nicosia, John Ortiz, George Morrish, Caroline Aimetti and Potoula Anagnostakos along with Mike Cipriano of Bellmore.
Weippert is hopeful the fundraiser will be a success and become an annual event. “As an all-volunteer organization we rely heavily on the proceeds from fundraisers as our primary source of income,” he said.
The Foundation works directly with social workers and staff members from the Pediatric Oncology Departments at various New York hospitals to help meet children’s wishes. And, because cancer impacts the entire family, the services offered by the Foundation are extended to both the child undergoing treatment as well as their siblings. Additionally, the Foundation provides financial support and other assistance to help families offset medical costs and other related expenses.
“Without these fundraising events, we would not be able to continually sponsor The Bead Program, The Escape Hatch, books, parties, outings and other requests for assistance.”
The Odd Couple will be performed on Friday, June 24 and Saturday, June 25 at 7 p.m. in the school auditorium of Maria Regina R.C. Church, 3945 Jerusalem Avenue in Seaford. Tickets are $10 per person with proceeds benefiting the Sarah Grace Foundation For Children With Cancer. Inc.
Advance tickets can be purchased online at www.thesarahgracefoundation.org or by calling the Foundation at (516) 433-9745; tickets will also be on sale at the door. For additional information, email Matt.Weippert @thesarahgracefoundation.org.
“We promise a family-friendly show and great entertainment,” said Weippert. “The end result will be a night out filled with laughs for the entire family.”