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Amanda Seyfried & Justin Long Team with New Paradigm Theatre for The Girl's Home in Nicaragua Benefit

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Hollywood came to St. Anthony of Padua's on Saturday, October 26. Broadway performers from The New Paradigm Theatre collaborated with the church to put on dinner and a show to benefit The Girl's Home in Nicaragua. The event included special Hollywood guests, Justin Long and Amanda Seyfried.

It was a full house. A glamourous show entitled "Hooray for Hollywood" custom-built just for this crowd. The mood was warm, those in attendance were present for a very specific reason: to raise money for a protective wall and, hopefully, a better future for girls a continent away.

Long began the night by presenting a short documentary (http://vimeo.com/72661905) about chancing upon a shelter in Granada, Nicaragua while looking for surfing spots. He was inspired to aid in the development of the home, which to this day is having trouble with thieves stealing food and supplies. The home itself is a shelter for girls who are orphaned, living in abject poverty, or need refuge from abusive homes.

The New Paradigm Theatre, a non-profit, professional theatre that is virtually-based, is well-known for linking arms with other non-profits to help raise funds for their causes. They believe, as does St. Anthony's, in reaching into the community as a civic contribution. Kristin Huffman, Broadway performer and the theatre's Executive Director, says. "I can call up my Broadways friends and ask 'hey, wanna' do a show'? And they come." Saturday's guests got to spend the night and sing along with Huffman (Company), Kimilee Bryant (The Phantom of the Opera), Matt Castle (Company), and Bret Shuford (Beauty and the Beast, Little Mermaid)

The collaborative effort was notable. Parishioner Wendy Long, Justin Long's mother, coordinated the event with fellow church members. New Paradigm, who had done previous shows for charities sponsored by St. Anthony's, not only performed, but brought along their youth leaders to gain experience. New Paradigm is co-founder of After School at The Klein in Bridgeport and has a youth board mentoring program to build leaders to follow in these footsteps. Representatives from each non profit worked the event to successfully charm the patrons as singing waiters and help run the show without a hitch. St. Anthony's parishioners came out in full force, and Long's earnest presentation connected with each person. All of this culminated in setting down the framework of a night that raised funds for the cause. Hooray for Hollywood indeed.


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