STAGES St. Louis Raises More Than $52K for American Red Cross Hurricane Relief
The final curtain call on Sunday, Oct. 8, concluded STAGES' production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's classic American wartime tale, but the spirit of civic duty continued to ring throughout the theatre as STAGES welcomed Cindy Erickson, CEO of the American Red Cross of Eastern Missouri, onstage following the company's final bows.
The evening not only marked the grand finale of STAGES' 31st Season but also an incredibly heartwarming closure to the cast's donation collection efforts throughout the run of South Pacific.
In response to the devastation and hardships faced by thousands of Americans due to hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the cast of South Pacific felt inspired to lend a helping hand. Beginning at the Sunday matinee performance on Sept. 10, and continuing throughout the run of the show, St. Louis actors John Flack and Kari Ely would take turns coming forward at the end of each performance, appealing to the audience, and asking them to donate whatever amount they felt comfortable to aid the efforts of the American Red Cross. Donations were collected by cast members stationed in the lobby and at theatre exits with silver donation buckets.
With successful fundraising results on the first day of collections, STAGES hoped to raise $30,000 by the end of the Season, a figure that was quickly surpassed thanks to the wonderful generosity of the organization's loyal patrons. By the final performance day, STAGES had raised $51,000 for the American Red Cross. American Red Cross of Eastern MO CEO, Cindy Erickson was then invited onstage at the end of the closing performance to accept an oversized check from the company of South Pacific on behalf of the American Red Cross. On that last evening of performances, STAGES' cast members continued to collect donations, bringing the grand total to $52,158.25 raised.
"This remarkable donation from STAGES St. Louis and their generous audience will bring real help and comfort to those affected by the tragic hurricanes," said American Red Cross of Eastern Missouri CEO Cindy Erickson. "It is an amazing show of support from STAGES St. Louis, the Company of South Pacific and everyone who donated. They allow us to achieve our mission, which is to alleviate suffering in the face of emergencies."
South Pacific concluded STAGES' 31st Season at the intimate, 377-seat Robert G. Reim Theatre at the Kirkwood Civic Center, 111 South Geyer Road in St. Louis, MO 63122. For more information call 314-821-2407 or visit www.StagesStLouis.org.
STAGES St. Louis is the region's foremost not-for-profit company committed to preserving and advancing the art form of Musical Theatre through excellence in performance and education. In 2017, STAGES celebrates its 31st year of producing Broadway-quality theatre, presenting 140 performances from June through October to over 50,000 patrons.
Pictured: Cast of South Pacific and Cindy Erickson, CEO of the American Red Cross of