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First-ever 'TOY Box Bash' to benefit Theatre of Youth

by jmaloni

Fundraiser will honor WNY youth supporters

Sat, Oct 23rd 2010 05:00 pm
Theatre of Youth, a non-profit professional theater company dedicated to youth, will host the first-ever "TOY Box Bash" fundraiser on Thursday, Nov. 11. Taking place in downtown Buffalo's Town Ballroom, the fundraiser will directly support TOY's expansion of its theater school programs and outreach to Buffalo public schools. The event also will honor Western New York individuals and groups who have led the way in enhancing the quality of life for area youth.

"Our goal is to grow support and passion for the arts by establishing TOY as a significant player in the theater community and engaging the area's youth," said Allegra Jaros, fundraising committee chair, Theatre of Youth. "Funds raised at the ‘TOY Box Bash' will further allow us to help children experience the magic of theater and develop a lifelong appreciation for the arts."

The "TOY Box Bash" will feature a red carpet reception with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, award presentation, dinner stations and open bar, followed by a live performance of "Frank and Ella" -- A TOY production. In true theater-fashion, guests are encouraged to dress with a glamorous, unique twist.

Nearly a dozen toy boxes that have been decorated and designed by local youth organizations will be filled with donated items and auctioned off during a silent auction. An additional 50 items, including an iPad and other gadgets, dinner and theater packages, jewelry, and more will be auctioned off during live and silent auctions. The live auction will be led by 97 Rock's Rob Lederman.

During the "TOY Box Guardian" award ceremony, a select group of community leaders, organizations and companies will be honored for contributions they've made to enhance the quality of life for local youth. The inaugural honorees include:

  • Independent Health for promoting healthy lifestyles and exercise among youth by launching the largest physical activity initiative in Western New York history, the Fitness for Kids Challenge. The program encourages kids and families to incorporate exercise into their daily routine. The company is also the founding sponsor of the Theatre of Youth health and wellness series.
  • Beth S. Lasky for her nine years of commitment, dedication and belief in TOY's mission. As a committee member, active board member and former board president of TOY, Lasky helped provide live professional theater experiences for nearly 500,000 children throughout her years of service.
  • The Community Action Organization of Erie County Inc. for its commitment to bringing early childhood education to disadvantaged families through the Head Start and Early Head Start programs. These programs prepare at-risk children for kindergarten by promoting the necessary language, cognitive, and early reading skills. Additionally, families are provided with social services, nutrition and health information.

"For nearly 40 years, we have worked with many individuals, businesses and organizations that are truly invested in the well-being of youth in Western New York," said Keith B. Wright, board president, Theatre of Youth. "For the inaugural ‘TOY Box Bash,' we selected three honorees whose exceptional efforts have forever changed the youth landscape in our community."

DreamCatcher Foundation Inc. is the title sponsor of the "TOY Box Bash." Major sponsors are Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo and Jaeckle Fleischmann & Mugel LLP. Auction donors to date include: Rick Winter Jewelry, Tempo Restaurant, Shango Bistro and Wine Bar, Shea's Performing Arts Center, Irish Classical Theatre Company, MusicalFare Theatre, Kavinoky Theatre, and Road Less Traveled Productions.

Tickets to the TOY Box Bash are $100 per person. For more information, to purchase tickets or donate auction items, call 884-4400.

About Theater of Youth

Theatre of Youth Company Inc. is a non-profit professional theater company dedicated to the enhancement of life in the community through the enrichment, education and entertainment of young audiences. TOY aims to engage and challenge young audiences with theater that is artistically exciting, innovative in form and style and relevant in content. In a society that values high-tech entertainment, TOY strives to instill and nurture in young people, from pre-K through high school and college, an appreciation for the art of live theater as a stimulating cultural experience, one which celebrates the worth and creativity of the individual.

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