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Thirty-two years ago Port Washington-Manhasset Chapter of Cancer Care volunteers bravely embarked on a new adventure into fundraising for the benefit of cancer patients and their families. Looking for something new and exciting that would invite public participation and contributions they came upon the idea of a stage show utilizing their own and local talents. The idea was all about friends and neighbors entertaining friends and neighbors, having a good laugh at one another and enjoying the talents of one another. It seemed like a fun way of raising money. Early spring was chosen as the time, Schreiber High School auditorium the place and the group pooled their talents to run the gamut of theatrical production, staging, writing, choreographing, performing and administering this bold adventure. Red Stocking #1 was a smashing success. A mix of music, comedy, skits and stage ads, it lives up to its goal. The audience was entertained, people laughed at and with one another and funds went to Cancer Care Inc. for their free programs and aid to cancer patients and their families.

That was 1971. With a hiatus of four years, 1981-1984, Red Stocking has been performed a total of 25 times since then to fill houses and hundreds of people in need have been helped. Over the years, technology, public interest and generosity has brought Red Stocking into the realm of real theater and a part of life in our great community. Today some 200 volunteers from age five to 82 are responsible for presenting the Red Stocking Revue. The show is directed by Maryellen Barnes of Showtime Productions. The cast and crew are all local volunteers and school children who literally give up their spare time in the month of March to rehearse in order to provide the audience with the best they can give. Volunteer amateur writers and choreographers from the cast are busy all year striving for fresh ideas and acts so that each year's revue is new and exciting.

Red Stocking is much more than just a show. It is a labor of love for the dedicated volunteers who have given their talents and their time for the dual purpose of entertaining people and raising funds for those in need. It is not a "just show up for a couple of hours" fundraiser nor is it for the faint of heart. It is serious amateur theater with a touch of tongue-in-cheek designed to raise money and provide a great evening out and an advertising medium for its generous supporters. The "Red Stocking Program/Journal" is a who's who of generous community-minded people and local businesses. For their support of the community and its activities they deserve to be patronized.

On behalf of the thousands of cancer patients and their families who have been helped over the years by the free programs and aid from Cancer Care Inc. the Port Washington-Manhasset Chapter thanks their supporters for their generosity and community spirit. "It is always a pleasure to entertain you."

Tickets at $15 per person are on sale for Thursday, Friday, Saturday, April 1, 2, 3 shows beginning 8 p.m. and for the 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, April 4. Seniors and children's tickets are $10 for Thursday and Sunday performances only. Reserved patrons seats are available at $30 for all performances. You can buy tickets at All Port Travel, 109 Manorhaven Blvd., Anthony's World of Floors at 49 Manorhaven Blvd., Carnel's Printing at 22 Main Street, Evergreen Hair Salon at 6 Soundview Shopping Center and Gold Couture at 282 Main Street. For information call Ticket Chairman Debbie Solomon at 883-0200. To learn about Cancer Care Inc. please visit www.cancercare.org.

For information about the Port Washington Manhasset Chapter please call (516) 883-6693.


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