Thursday night I had the great fortune to attend the opening night for Billy Elliot The Musical at the Pantages in Los Angeles. And right there on the red carpet was the lovely Katharine “Kat” Kramer. As she gracefully flowed from the red carpet into the lobby I caught up with her and was immediately reminded of a very important event taking place the evening of April 23rd 2012 at the Catalina Jazz Club 6725 Sunset Boulevard just one block east of Highland in the heart of Hollywood. The event is both a celebration of the birthday of the great Barbra Streisand and a very compelling fundraiser for lovely young girl named Isabella. The event has been named “Our Name is Barbra” is being co-hosted by the incomparable Katharine “Kat” Kramer presents a plethora of delightful artists from Broadway, television and cabaret sharing their interpretation of songs associated with Barbra Streisand. That is the fun part now here is the compelling purpose.
The goal is to raise as much money as possible in support of “The Songs For Isabella Fund.” The fund established to help a sweet 4 year old girl, Isabella Vahanian. You may get more details about Isabella and the fund by visiting the website: http://www.wix.com/gregoryv/songs-for-isabella.
Isabella was born in July of 2007 and almost immediately diagnosed with Down’s syndrome. Only a few months later she underwent open heart surgery. After that she made regular trips to the emergency room for respiratory problems. Shortly after her second birthday Isabella was diagnosed with AML leukemia. Still Isabella and her parents fight on.
Part of that fight included a eight month stint when Isabella’s loving parents Gregory and Wendy literally lived with Isabella in the hospital 24 hours a day 7 days a week. They did this in shifts while still maintaining a home for their 10 year old daughter Gabriela. The happy news, the very happy news is as of right now Isabella’s leukemia is in remission. However Isabella still requires full time home care.
Obviously the ordeal has been a monstrous strain of the family’s financial resources. On top of having to fight a constant battle just to keep their beloved daughter alive and finally free of a life threatening disease they had to continue to support Isabella and Gabriela and themselves in the face of a tsunami of medical bills and an inability to pursue full time employment.
So maybe you will come to the party, have a great time and help a very nice but much stressed family and their precious daughter Isabella. Or maybe you simply cannot attend this event. Okay in that case you can make a tax deductible donation to “The Songs For Isabella Fund.” At this website: http://www.wix.com/gregoryv/songs-for-isabella.
On a personal note, perhaps you are like me and put off by the constant barrage of charities and causes that hang like vultures around the super market doors pleading for your hard earned cash. But here is a situation that is vastly more compelling and perfectly real. Here is one family, a neighbor really, put into near overwhelming personal suffering all to keep their precious Isabella alive and on a path to health. Imagine what it would be like had YOU been confronted with this reality. Then do what any good conscience demands and either make your show reservations or go online and help.
For show reservations please go to www.catalinajazzclub.com. Tickets are just $20 each and there is a two drink minimum which is waived when your order dinner. So eat, drink and be thoroughly entertained all while helping a family very much in need. Kat Kramer will be there, I will be there, a whole bunch of “Stars” will be there, so you be there too, okay?
Oh and before I go, that musical I mentioned, Billy Elliot The Musical, currently at the Pantages through May 13, 2012 is absolutely SENSATIONAL. Here is my review of the show. http://nextooze.com/entertainment-industry-in-los-angeles/billy-elliot-the-musical-review.
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