Last year, Gina Starbuck, cast member of Wicked The Musical, held what would be the first of the annual charitable event Art 4 Life in support of raising funds for the American Cancer Society. This year, Starbuck returned with an even larger event at the Avalon Hollywood. The “green” carpet event was the stage for performances by cast members of Wicked, Capitol Music Group Recording Artist Ferras, and dance groups such as Fysh ‘n’ Chicks, Twisted Elegance, and Step It Up and Dance. Besides being treated to energy charged performances, guests were treated to energy charged drinks from the Lance Armstrong sponsored healthy energy drink company FRS. Guest were also able to participate in a silent auction for items from television shows like CSI to concert tickets and cds from various recording artists. Another opportunity to donate came from the purchase of a $100 gift bag filled with goodies.
Art 4 Life 2 was hosted for the second time by Ugly Betty’s Michael Urie and actress Carol Kane. The animated duo didn’t disappoint with their in-between performance banters. But with all jokes aside, Urie stated that it was important to be a part of such a worthy cause because we are more likely than not to know someone who has been affected by cancer. Bringing awareness and then having the funds to help find cures should be high on our agenda and through Art 4 Life, is a demonstration of what one person can do to meet the objectives of this agenda.
Starbuck was inspired to start Art 4 Life after her father passed away from cancer. Her vision has flourished into a reality that we can all participate in. And the participation was great for this year’s event. “The feel good factor of attending an event such as this outweighs the fact that I was a bit tired when I arrived,” stated guest Joyce Ann. “I think that we need to do much more to support organizations and causes that are positive within our community.” I couldn’t agree more. I, too, was excited about being able to witness this event and be able to tell our readers about it with the hopes that you will get motivated to support.
Another sophomore participant that was on hand in bringing humor to the atmosphere was comedian Ryan Hill. A bit brash, a bit over-the-top, Hill spiced up the stage in ways that I can not repeat in the context of this article. Another humorous duo that spiced up the stage with their neon, 80s inspired attire was Warsaw Wow. Their wild antics had the audience on their feet cheering and laughing.
Candellyn Tayner, owner of Pacific Academy of Dance, and Amber Krupski one of the dancer out of the academy were excited about being able to participate in the event. I was able to meet them and a group of their friends that they brought out to help support the cause.
The National Cancer Institute estimates that approximately 10.8 million Americans with a history of cancer were alive in January 2004. Some of these individuals were cancer-free, while others still had evidence of cancer and may have been undergoing treatment. About 1,437,180 new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in 2008. So this means that even if we don’t personally know someone living with cancer, we will probably know someone who knows someone living with the disease.
We are not calling for a fight against cancer because whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist persists. What we are calling for is awareness and support and that’s just what Starbuck’s Art of Life is all about. I am so thankful to have yet another means to bring about positive and supportive change to the ills that plague us as human beings.
1For additional information on Art of Life, please log on to www.arcadiarelay.com/art4lifeshow.html