Local producer and entertainer Shannon Nixon recently approached the owner of the Spire Theater, Angelo Giuffre, with the concept of running a theatrical season for the purpose of donating proceeds to children undergoing medical treatment. After a well-received benefit concert that was staged in May 2011 for quadruple transplant patient Ryan Samuelson, Ms. Nixon knew she wanted to continue producing these shows.
During the meeting between the two local arts professionals, the details of the project were refined, and "Shannon's Kids Series" was born.
The season premieres in September and will begin with "Jeanie and the Harvey Boys Radio Show," a vintage style radio comedy to benefit cancer patient Aili Makuch. Fifteen-year-old Aili, of Bemus Point, was diagnosed with Wilm's tumor, also known as nephroblastoma, a rare kidney cancer.
Ms. Nixon wanted to make sure the series was helping local kids and families in need of support. Ms. Nixon's mission is to see the community step in and become a part of this project. She said her involvement in the arts has always been a passion of hers, but pairing that passion with her desire to help others creates the most rewarding kind of work and an incredible sense of purpose.
"This is what I have to do," she said. "I have every hope that this new undertaking becomes a success and that we can expand and help countless kids in the future. The life of this project relies heavily on multiple helping hands. I want to inspire people to reach out and get on board. I'd really love to get a volunteer committee together."
Ms. Nixon encourages people to help promote the production by spreading the word. She urges local businesses to help cover expenses. Adolescents interested in gaining volunteer time can also be a part of this project by putting up posters and helping raise awareness.
Following the premiere of September's show will be "Sounds of Soul," "What HappensStays" and "Frankie and Dean and All That Jazz," all of which are written by Ms. Nixon.
All the productions will feature the talents of local celebrities and professional performers.
If you know any children in the area in need of assistance for medical treatment, would like to get on board with this project, or would like to make a donation to "Shannon's Kids Series" contact Ms. Nixon at 708-8879 or email@example.com.