The cast of three Hollywood-based daytime soaps recently came to the East Coast to show off their singing and dancing chops to help people living with HIV/AIDS.
New York’s historic Town Hall theater was sold out March 21 for the two benefit performances by the stars of “All My Children,” “One Life to Live” and “General Hospital.” Special guest Sherri Shepherd, co-host of the TV show “The View,” brought down the house with a full-on Tina Turner-style performance of ”Proud Mary.”
For more than two decades, BC/EFA and their predecessor organizations have awarded more than $104 million to groups that respond to the most basic needs of people with HIV/AIDS. Two organizations, Equity Fights AIDS, sponsored by the Council of Actors Equity, and Broadway Cares, sponsored by Broadway producers, joined to form BC/EFA in 1992.
Just last February, BC/EFA awarded $1.235 million in grants to 118 food service and meal delivery programs across the country to help ensure people too ill to cook have a decent meal.
One of the grants went to Project Angel Food, an expanded meal delivery program in Los Angeles. Here’s Margaret Steele, Angel Food’s executive director:
It is commendable that even when sharing the reality of today’s economic situation, BC/EFA’s compassion and commitment comes through. It is both moving and inspiring to know that BC/EFA is determined to be with us in these extremely challenging times.
BC/EFA must completely replenish its coffers each year, so, throughout the year, members of the Broadway community lend their talents and star power to various fundraising events. Curtain speeches, sales of autographed posters and programs, auctions and cabaret performances are just some of the activities that enable these companies to bring in contributions from audiences..
Next up is the annual Easter Bonnet Competition, April 26-27, a parade of bonnets hand-crafted by the casts and crews of dozens of participating productions. Last year’s competition, which included a surprise appearance by Liza Minnelli (see video), raised more than $3 million.
Other fundraisers have included:
- BC/EFA’s annual Broadway Bears Valentine’s Day auction brought in more than $1.7 million. The auction features designer bears, each based on a character from a Broadway musical and signed by some of the musical’s performers. This year’s auction included bears signed by Minnelli and Sir Elton John.
- In January, Broadway Bares showcased solo strip acts by some of Broadway’s hottest male performers before two capacity crowds at a New York night club, raising $9,260.
- In February, four Tony Award winners and 20 Tony nominees joined for a benefit concert in New York that raised $186,780 for BC/EFA and The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center.
If you don’t live in the New York area, you still can help out. Click here to learn more about BC/EFA or to make a donation.