February 22, 2013
A high school senior at Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach, Fla., and president of the school's Thespian Troupe 4990 decided that the troupe would use the 20122013 school year to raise money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, a nonprofit organization that helps people with AIDS. The goal was to raise $7,500 by the end of the school year. In January the troupe had over $5,000. The senior, Sam Leopold, got the idea while the troupe was participating in the annual Florida State Thespians Festival, where a group of theatrical performers received "The Most Caring Troupe" award. He felt that his troupe should also do something to give back to the community. According to Chloe Farmer, the group's treasurer, the troupe had always raised money for Broadway Cares, but they had never dedicated a full year and all of their shows to the organization.
For the past few months the troupe has raised money by presenting thespian showcases, an open microphone night, and a junior showcase. The open microphone night raised $250, and one showcase raised $1,500. The troupe also raised funds during the run of Lorraine Hansberry's "A Raisin in the Sun." Leopold believes that they can meet the goal with their next show, "Guys and Dolls," which opens on March 1. To help the students reach the goal, community residents can make a tax-deductible contribution to the school's theatre department.