SPECIAL CHILDREN'S PERFORMANCE
For the past 34 years, Westchester Broadway Theatre has donated a matinee performance of one of its mainstage productions each year to the children residing in the area institutions in Westchester County. This year the children will be treated to our new musical production of "A WONDERFUL LIFE”.
THIS YEAR’S INVITES INCLUDE Andrus Children’s Center, Children's Village, St. Mary’s Rehabilitation Center, Green Chimneys, Edenwald, Ferncliff Manor, Hawthorne Cedar Knolls, Pleasantville Cottage School, Rockland Children’s Psychiatric Center, Lincoln Hall, The Spark Program, Cardinal McClosky Home and Diagnostic Center in Ossining. There will be over 400 children and chaperones attending this performance. Approximately 14,00 children & chaperones have attended since the program began. The children range in age from five up to eighteen. Some of the children reside in the institutions due to physical or emotional disabilities, where their emotional, behavioral, school and family difficulties can be assessed. Others live in residential treatment centers which offer long-term care and schooling. Each of the homes is contacted by a staff member of the theatre, and a need of the institution is met by the donation of gifts which are presented at the end of the performance. Proceeds for the gift donations come from our generous audiences during the holiday season. These gifts include: Computers, Color Printers, Digital Cameras, Video Cameras, TVS, VCRs, DVD Players, Microwaves, Stereo Systems, Super Nintendo Games, etc. In the past years a couple of unique requests came from several of the homes. St. Mary’s Rehabilitation Center requested eight strollers, while another requested an electric guitar.
The purpose for the donated performance is to give children residing in institutions a chance to see a fully staged musical show free of charge. At the intermission ice cream, cookies and sodas are provided. Each year we are gratified by seeing how involved the children become with the experience of watching live theatre. The reaction of the children and the appreciation of the staff is the reason the owners Bill Stutler and Bob Funking continue to donate this special performance, and fill the gift requests year after year.
Other contributions in 2008 included Gift Certificates totaling in the amount of $32,000 donated to local charities, schools and other deserving organizations.