October 5, 2017

Broadway to the Rescue: A Benefit for the Homeless

A message from Ren Bell, Chair of the Performing Arts Department …

We have a very exciting new partnership to announce that will benefit the entire Oakwood family! Mark your calendars: on October 14, at the Montalban Theater in Hollywood, students from Oakwood will participate with our newest partner in service, Hope of the Valley  in their fundraiser, Broadway to the RescueA Benefit for the HomelessOur students will sing, dance, and work on the same stage as over a dozen veterans of Broadway, stars from the TV, film, and music industry, as well as a cast of close to 50 ensemble members, all rehearsing now for a one-of-a-kind performance! All of the performers are donating their time for this special charity and one magical night of the greatest hits of Modern Broadway, many performed by the stars that made them famous!

How did this all happen?  As you know, service is an important part of Oakwood’s philosophy of helping our students to be well-rounded, giving, young people.  We have, especially in the Performing Arts Department, longed for a partner that could allow our performing arts students an opportunity to be a part of service in a way that directly reflects their interests.  Our new partnership with Hope of the Valley, a 501c(3) multi-facility homeless mission based in the San Fernando Valley, is allowing our kids this and many other experiences that will impact them with memories of a lifetime.

Among those performing, 11-time Broadway star and Tony winner Lillias White, Tony winner John Tartaglia, Broadway and film star Aaron Lazar, and many many more.  Also performing will be, The Office’s Kate Flannery, performing with “The Lampshades,” and Grammy nominee Lisa Loeb, performing a Broadway classic that is on her newest album coming out in the next week! Broadway to the Rescue Executive Producer and 5-time Broadway veteran Michael Leon Wooley will host, and subsequent to the show, will along with his Broadway partners, provide master classes to Oakwood students—some for the entire student body, and others in specialized areas of Performing Arts.

Email Liz Shaffer, (Oakwood Alumni Parent of Lily Shaffer, ’17 and one of the Producers of Broadway to the Rescue), at shaffer.liz@gmail.com, to receive your complimentary seats, find answers to your questions, or to learn ways to participate.

Who is Hope of the ValleyHope of the Valley is a 501c(3) multi-facility rescue mission based in the San Fernando Valley.  Los Angeles leads the nation in homelessness, and our Oakwood family is exposed to this epidemic every day. And what most don’t know is the largest population of homeless by far, at 43%, is women and children.  The reason we felt HOTV was such a good fit for Oakwood, apart from their good works, is the philosophy of their mission, which is to treat every person with dignity, respect, and compassion.   Each “client” of HOTV, is put on a track to help them go from the streets, to services, to structure, stability, and sustainability.  Not all make it, but many who have nothing just need a helping hand. HOTV has a rescue mission in Burbank, close to Oakwood, with 150 beds, where they are eager for help in serving meals to their clients, which are all served by volunteers at the table—no standing in bread lines and facing the humiliation of having to “ask” for food. They are always in need of help in various ways to help those less fortunate.

In HOTV’s 8 years of service, they have provided over 750,000 meals, 250,000 nights of shelter, 300,000 hot showers, and so much more.  They also offer addiction recovery. They have special discrete housing for mothers and children of domestic violence in a 12 bedroom house, where families sleep alone in their own dedicated space, have an industrialized kitchen for cooking, and a backyard with swings and things for kids who have suffered, to bond and play even through the toughest of times.  HOTV also provides medical services, as well as career counseling, and has established a centralized hub for their clients with satellite offices of all major governmental services, i.e. Veteran Affairs, Medicare, so that those who have no form of transportation can get all of their needs met in one place.

Future opportunities for students and whole families to get involved next month include HOTV’s Drumstick Dash, taking place at CBS Studios Radford, in Studio City on Thanksgiving morning.  Oakwood can even form its own team for parents and children to run together to help the homeless.

Don’t miss Broadway to the Rescue, A Benefit for the Homeless. You and your kids are going to want to be “in the room where it happens!”