Not since pitching P-Nuttles and Almond Rocha for Camp Fire Girls have I asked the general public for money. But I'm pulling out my Citizenship Beads and doing it now. Here's the deal:
Despite my outward surly demeanor, I'm one of those squishy types that faithfully donate to National Public Radio during those painfully long pledge drives. My name has found its way onto bleeding heart lists of all kinds - hungry vets, homeless pets, abused wives - you name it and I've caved. Finally, I had to stage an intervention with myself: "Heather, while it is very nice that you, in your own distant way, care about others. You need to pick just one issue and focus, otherwise, you'll end up being your own cause."
And so, in light of the many, many surgeries I endured as a child (hemangioma) to fix my face and eye, I chose Smile Train. Their mission is very simple: They provide materials and medical training so that Third World kids born with cleft palates can be remedied. An American baby born with this problem will have it fixed almost instantly but most of those born in, say, Bangladesh or Afghanistan, are not so lucky. They are often ostracized and not allowed to attend school or get a job. They bring 'shame' to the family and are often abandoned or killed.
Applying the 'teach a man to fish' philosophy, the Smile Train folks pull in to villages, train the local medical community, donate supplies and leave lots of fixed faces and sparkling smiles in their wake. Because my comedy improv troupe, Rodents of Unusual Size, also likes to leave 'em smiling, we are putting on two benefit shows for Smile Train on June 18 & June 19 at the Avenue Theater in downtown Denver. Our goal is to provide full surgery (cost of $250 per child) for at least four kids - that's $1,000. Tickets are $10 and it comes with a comfy seat and a free beer, wine or soda.
So, whattya say? If you want to purchase a ticket, you can contact me directly, or you can go here. We promise to make you laugh in addition your kind donation. If you can't make the show but still want to donate, you can visit our donation page at the Smile Train site.
C'mon, people, do it FOR THE CHILDREN! (Ah, I've always wanted to pull off that line for real ....)
While I'm all benevolent 'n stuff, Monkey's Uncle - our talented improv brethren - is putting on a benefit show TONIGHT to help our pal, Howard, who's got 'the cancer.' Howard, a member of the troupe, is bald and everything and facing some medical bills. Word on the street is, other Monkeys will be shaved on stage tonight in support. If you are around, drop by Jazz @ Jack's at 7:30 p.m. to view some naked primates. Or, you can donate here.
Howard not only does all the lighting and important nagging, I mean, stage managing for the Rodent shows, he lights up our lives in general. He's just organically hilarious and incredibly lovable so come on down and let the shaving begin!
Even if you give nothing at all to anyone ever in your life, thanks for reading this far.