Denver Actors Fund in Action: Justin Peterson

Trumpet player: Two surgeries, two casts, two massive bills

Aid recipient: Justin Peterson is a trumpet player currently performing in the orchestra for Sasquatch Productions’ “Matilda,” through February 9 at the PACE Center. Over the past year two years, Justin also has played in musicals for BDT Stage, Inspire Creative, Vintage Theatre Company, Aurora Fox, Equinox Theatre, Stage Door Theatre Company and Longmont Theatre Company, with titles including “Newsies,” “Motones vs. Jerseys,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Full Monty,” “The Addams Family,” “Tuck Everlasting” and “The Little Mermaid.” By day, Justin is a site technician for the Aurora Public Schools. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Trumpet Performance from Denver University. He’s also a member of the local rock band One Way Ride and the Latin jazz group The Pino Project.

JUSTIN PETERSONHis medical story: Last June, Justin ruptured his Achilles Tendon, which required surgical repair. A few months later, he was in a serious car accident, which required surgery for a broken left wrist. The financial fallout included damage to his car and the musical instruments he was transporting at the time. Combined, Justin was billed for $6,403.99 in out-of-pocket medical expenses. He incurred additional non-medical expenses ranging from car-rental fees to repair of his musical instruments.

How we have helped: The Denver Actors Fund Board of Directors voted unanimously to pay off the whole of Justin’s out-of-pocket medical expenses, or $6,403.99. To date, including targeted donations from the community, The Denver Actors Fund has now made $6,433.99 available to Justin for his medical expenses.

How you can help us help Justin more: In addition to his non-medical expenses, Justin has been told to expect up to $2,000 in additional medical bills to come in over the next few months. So even though we have paid the maximum we are legally allowed to date (because we are incorporated as a medical relief organization), Justin is not fully out of the hole. If you would like to direct a specific donation to help give Justin some additional breathing room to pay off his other expenses, simply mail checks in any amount made out to The Denver Actors Fund (with Justin Peterson’s name written in the topic field), to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80211. Or use this donation link. If you use the online option, be sure to designate that your donation is targeted for Justin Peterson. (He will receive 100 percent of your donation.) Otherwise, your donation will be applied to the replenishment of The Denver Actors Fund’s general fund.

A message from Justin:

“The only way I can explain the year 2019 is with one word: Humbling. I started the year with no major medical issues in my life: No broken bones, no surgeries and I had never worn a cast. But 2019 had some surprises in store for me. Both medical incidents required surgical repair, casting and physical therapy among a whole slew of new experiences.

Maybe it was pride, or stubbornness, but I attempted to tackle the financial burden myself. It seemed every few days as I progressed through recovery, there was a new medical bill, some new unanticipated expense or some balance owed after insurance was applied. Any time the phone rang or I would check the mail, I would take a deep breath expecting yet another bill due. I kept telling myself, “This too will pass; keep your head down and keep at it.” Days after ringing in 2020, I received yet another large medical bill, and I knew I needed help.

There are not strong enough words to convey what The Denver Actors Fund has done for me. When I was told the extent to which The Denver Actors Fund was going to help, I was left speechless and, soon after, in tears. In that moment, I could feel an enormous weight lifted off my shoulders and an immense sense of relief. The Denver Actors Fund has CHANGED MY LIFE! There is no way around the fact that without this assistance, I honestly don’t know how long it would have taken to pay these medical bills.

To The Denver Actors Fund Board of Directors and to everyone who has contributed to The Denver Actors Fund, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! I am astonished, humbled and so tremendously blessed to have received this assistance. I’m not sure I can every repay such kindness and generosity to an extent that could adequately convey how much this means to me.

Over the past month, I couldn’t stop worrying and thinking about everything I could lose … but now I can’t stop being in awe of the people, blessings and love in my life. A drastic change in perspective that should remind us all that life is always best when we live it together.

Again I say, thank you to The Denver Actors Fund and thank you to the Colorado community for supporting the arts in so many ways!”

The Denver Actors Fund now has made more than $438,000 available to Colorado artists in medical need.

How you can help us help us help more Colorado theatre artists: If you would like to make a donation to The Denver Actors Fund, simply mail checks in any amount made out to Denver Actors Fund to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80212. Or use this donation link, with our humble thanks.

Read testimonials from other Denver Actors Fund beneficiaries here

Note: At The Denver Actors Fund, anonymity of aid recipients is presumed and fully protected, unless and until the recipient chooses to have their story told.

HOW TO MAKE A DONATION

Justin Peterson, standing second from the left, with the orchestra from Parker Arts and Inspire Theater Company’s ‘Newsies.’


ABOUT THE DENVER ACTORS FUND:

The Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in medical need. In addition to $438,000 in financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers have offered good neighborly assistance to more than 100 beneficiaries including meal prep and delivery, child care, transportation, errands, construction, pet-sitting and more. For more information, visit our web site at DenverActorsFund.Org.


HOW TO APPLY FOR AID:

To apply for Denver Actors Fund aid: Fill out this brief online form here


Hippo Health LogoGET INSTANT, FREE MEDICAL ADVICE: The Denver Actors Fund has launch of a major new FREE medical service for qualified Colorado theatre artists: We are partnering with Hippo Health to provide access to emergency medical evaluations via video conferencing with a Board-certified physician. Click to read more about this wonderful, innovative new partnership that will further improve the lives of artists!


MORE WAYS TO HELP:

DONATE ONLINE:

Go to our online giving site at: ColoradoGives.Org

DONATE BY MAIL:

Send checks made out to The Denver Actors Fund to:
P.O. Box 11182
Denver, CO 80211

VOLUNTEER:

Ever thought about taking a more active role in The Denver Actors Fund? Click here for more information


SHOP AT KING SOOPERS

Sign up for King Soopers’ Community Rewards Program and raise money for The DAF just by shopping for your groceries – and it doesn’t cost you an extra penny. It’s like the Amazon Smile Program. To sign up, simply go here and designate The DAF as your preferred non-profit. Each quarter, King Soopers sends us a donation based on how much our supporters have spent. Thanks to all of you who are shopping for The DAF!


COME TO THE EVENTS THAT SUPPORT US:

Alamo Hollywood's Biggest Night 2020

HOLLYWOOD’S BIGGEST NIGHT: Sunday, February 9, is the biggest night for the movies! What better way to be a part of the action on the big screen than to join Denver7 at the Alamo Drafthouse Westminster? This year’s host is beloved local actor Steven Burge … and friends (!). Dress your Hollywood best (formal evening wear suggested but not at all required!) Arrive around 5 p.m. in Pandora’s Box for your very own red carpet, paparazzi, and more before we open the doors for food, drinks and fun for everyone. Tickets are just $15 this year and ALL proceeds benefit The Denver Actors Fund! What’s The Denver Actors Fund? Well, Chris Hemsworth may have made $76 million to play Thor in “Avengers: Endgame,” but closer to home, Colorado stage actors often get paid tiny stipends to perform in plays and musicals at local theatres. They often sustain themselves by working a hodgepodge of flexible but low-paying jobs without health insurance. The Denver Actors Fund is a safety net for when Colorado theatre artists (on or off-stage) need help to pay for unexpected medical expenses. In six years, the Denver Actors Fund has made $435,000 available to help artists pay their medical bills or purchase wheelchairs, hearing aids and other essential medical supplies. In addition, an army of volunteers provides neighborly assistance ranging from rides to meals to snow-shoveling and personal company. Reserve your preferred seats today.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 17: The Cherry Creek Theatre Company has announced that its Industry Night performance of “My Way – A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra” will be a benefit for The Denver Actors Fund. Let the music of Frank Sinatra transport you back in time to a swanky nightclub on the Las Vegas strip. Experience more than 50 quintessential hits from the Ol’ Blue Eyes collection. From The Lady is a Tramp to New York, New York, you can’t help but hum along with your favorite jazz standards on this trip down memory lane. Pack up, let’s fly away and fall in love all over again with the music of one of the most celebrated recording artists of all time. The director is Susie Snodgrass, with musical direction from David Nehls. The cast includes Sheryl McCallum, Stephen Day, Shannon Steele and Jeremy Rill. Tickets (normally $33) are $20. At the Mizel Arts and Culture Center, 350 S. Dahlia St., 303-800-6578 or cherrycreektheatre.org

SUNDAY, APRIL 26: True story: A few months ago, the local band Gin & Tonix did a show at the Clocktower to benefit the DAF, and I wasn’t sure I could make it so I didn’t book in advance. I dropped in just before the show began to buy a ticket at the door, and the woman looked at me like I was trying to walk in on Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, BTS, Shawn Mendes and the Wu-Tang Clan all at once. The look on her face was priceless. The event was was way sold out. “Gin & Tonix sells out every time,” she said. Point taken. So who is Gin & Tonix? A group of talented musician friends and family who have made music together on and off for many years. The band features vocal the harmonies of Morgan Griego, Kacie Thomas, Trinity Thomas, and Eileen Adair, by Madi Spillman on guitar, Ian Spillman on drums and vocals, and Jason Spillman on bass and vocals. The group plays songs by artists ranging from The Indigo Girls, The Eagles, The Avett Brothers and many more. The band will again be donating 10 percent of ticket sales for The Denver Actors Fund and taking a collection as a tribute to the late Amy Malmgren – an original DAF board member, and Jason Spillman’s sister. last time the total was a lucky $777. Gin and Tonix is as passionate about their community and family as they are about their music, which is touching. Now take the advice that is splased across the Clocktower’s web page: BOOK EARLY! GIN & TONIX *WILL SELL OUT IN ADVANCE!* Get your tickets here.


VISIT OUR ONLINE MERCH STORE:

Click here to see how you can buy DAF products such as T-shirts, key chains, puzzles and much more.

Denver Actors Fund in Action: Deb Flomberg-Rollins

Director Deb Flomberg-Rollins before the opening of ‘Young Frankenstein’ at Vintage Theatre. Photo by John Moore.

 

Latest complication from diverticulitis lands director in hospital

Financial-aid recipient: Deb Flomberg-Rollins is a founding member and co-Executive Producer of the Equinox Theatre Company, now in its 12th season. She most recently directed “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” and “Heathers: The Musical” at the Bug Theatre and next will helm “Monty Python’s Spamalot” (opening March 27). Other directing credits have included “Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead,” “Debbie Does Dallas: The Musical,” “Bug,” “Evil Dead the Musical” and “In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play)” for Equinox, as well as “Young Frankenstein” and “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” for Vintage Theatre Productions. Deb also occasionally appears onstage, notably in the Bug’s seasonal productions of “Night of the Living Dead.” Deb is a past president of the Colorado Theatre Guild.

Her initial medical story: We first helped Deb in 2015 with complications from life-threatening diverticulitis, then with colon surgery. At the time, Deb was self-employed, without health insurance, faced up to $20,000 in medical bills and needed help with essential living expenses because keeping a regular work schedule was difficult during her recovery. The Denver Actors Fund, still largely in its infancy, was able to support her then with $3,295.

The latest chapter: On December 26, Deb was taken to the ER and treated for severe dehydration, a long-term side effect of her type of colon surgery, and was kept on an IV-injection therapy for 28 hours. After insurance, Deb was left with a $1,788.96 bill, which The Denver Actors Fund Board of Directors has voted unanimously to pay. To date, including targeted donations from the community, The Denver Actors Fund has now made $5,134 available to Deb for her medical expenses.

How you can help us help Deb Flomberg more: If you would like to direct a specific donation to Deb, simply mail checks made out to Denver Actors Fund with Deb Flomberg-Rollins’s name written in the topic field, to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80211. Or use this donation link. In the special instructions field, be sure to designate that your donation is targeted to Deb Flomberg-Rollins.

A message from Deb Flomberg: “It’s not often that I’m without words, but right now, I am struggling to find the words to properly thank The Denver Actors Fund. Over the years, I’ve watched The Denver Actors Fund help so many truly deserving people, but I never thought I’d be the next to need help. However, my situation hit me really hard in 2015, and the mounting bills were a pretty terrifying sight. It’s so difficult to focus on recovery when you’re worried about paying your mortgage. With one act of generosity, The Denver Actors Fund allowed me to actually focus on getting better. I’ve always been touched by how supportive and loving the theater community in Denver is, and this latest gift is another example that will live in my heart forever. I am so thankful to everyone who has helped support this truly wonderful organization. It truly makes it an honor to be a part of this community. Thank you! And thank you to the entire board for all you do to support every single one of us.”

The Denver Actors Fund now has made more than $446,000 available to Colorado artists in medical need.

How you can help us help us help more Colorado theatre artists: If you would like to make a donation to The Denver Actors Fund, simply mail checks in any amount made out to Denver Actors Fund to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80212. Or use this donation link, with our humble thanks.

Read testimonials from other Denver Actors Fund beneficiaries here

Note: At The Denver Actors Fund, anonymity of aid recipients is presumed and fully protected, unless and until the recipient chooses to have their story told.

HOW TO MAKE A DONATION


ABOUT THE DENVER ACTORS FUND:

The Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in medical need. In addition to $446,000 in financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers have offered good neighborly assistance to more than 100 beneficiaries including meal prep and delivery, child care, transportation, errands, construction, pet-sitting and more. For more information, visit our web site at DenverActorsFund.Org.


HOW TO APPLY FOR AID:

To apply for Denver Actors Fund aid: Fill out this brief online form here


GET INSTANT, FREE MEDICAL ADVICE: The Denver Actors Fund has launch of a major new FREE medical service for qualified Colorado theatre artists: We are partnering with Hippo Health to provide access to emergency medical evaluations via video conferencing with a Board-certified physician. Click to read more about this wonderful, innovative new partnership that will further improve the lives of artists!


MORE WAYS TO HELP:

DONATE ONLINE:

Go to our online giving site at: ColoradoGives.Org

DONATE BY MAIL:

Send checks made out to The Denver Actors Fund to:
P.O. Box 11182
Denver, CO 80211

VOLUNTEER:

Ever thought about taking a more active role in The Denver Actors Fund? Click here for more information


SHOP AT KING SOOPERS

Sign up for King Soopers’ Community Rewards Program and raise money for The DAF just by shopping for your groceries – and it doesn’t cost you an extra penny. It’s like the Amazon Smile Program. To sign up, simply go here and designate The DAF as your preferred non-profit. Each quarter, King Soopers sends us a donation based on how much our supporters have spent. Thanks to all of you who are shopping for The DAF!


COME TO THE EVENTS THAT SUPPORT US:

HOLLYWOOD’S BIGGEST NIGHT: Sunday, February 9, is the biggest night for the movies! What better way to be a part of the action on the big screen than to join Denver7 at the Alamo Drafthouse Westminster? This year’s host is beloved local actor Steven Burge … and friends (!). Dress your Hollywood best (formal evening wear suggested but not at all required!) Arrive around 5 p.m. in Pandora’s Box for your very own red carpet, paparazzi, and more before we open the doors for food, drinks and fun for everyone. Tickets are just $15 this year and ALL proceeds benefit The Denver Actors Fund! What’s The Denver Actors Fund? Well, Chris Hemsworth may have made $76 million to play Thor in “Avengers: Endgame,” but closer to home, Colorado stage actors often get paid tiny stipends to perform in plays and musicals at local theatres. They often sustain themselves by working a hodgepodge of flexible but low-paying jobs without health insurance. The Denver Actors Fund is a safety net for when Colorado theatre artists (on or off-stage) need help to pay for unexpected medical expenses. In six years, the Denver Actors Fund has made $435,000 available to help artists pay their medical bills or purchase wheelchairs, hearing aids and other essential medical supplies. In addition, an army of volunteers provides neighborly assistance ranging from rides to meals to snow-shoveling and personal company. Reserve your preferred seats today.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 17: The Cherry Creek Theatre Company has announced that its Industry Night performance of “My Way – A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra” will be a benefit for The Denver Actors Fund. Let the music of Frank Sinatra transport you back in time to a swanky nightclub on the Las Vegas strip. Experience more than 50 quintessential hits from the Ol’ Blue Eyes collection. From The Lady is a Tramp to New York, New York, you can’t help but hum along with your favorite jazz standards on this trip down memory lane. Pack up, let’s fly away and fall in love all over again with the music of one of the most celebrated recording artists of all time. The director is Susie Snodgrass, with musical direction from David Nehls. The cast includes Sheryl McCallum, Stephen Day, Shannon Steele and Jeremy Rill. Tickets (normally $33) are $20. At the Mizel Arts and Culture Center, 350 S. Dahlia St., 303-800-6578 or cherrycreektheatre.org

SUNDAY, APRIL 26: True story: A few months ago, the local band Gin & Tonix did a show at the Clocktower to benefit the DAF, and I wasn’t sure I could make it so I didn’t book in advance. I dropped in just before the show began to buy a ticket at the door, and the woman looked at me like I was trying to walk in on Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, BTS, Shawn Mendes and the Wu-Tang Clan all at once. The look on her face was priceless. The event was was way sold out. “Gin & Tonix sells out every time,” she said. Point taken. So who is Gin & Tonix? A group of talented musician friends and family who have made music together on and off for many years. The band features vocal the harmonies of Morgan Griego, Kacie Thomas, Trinity Thomas, and Eileen Adair, by Madi Spillman on guitar, Ian Spillman on drums and vocals, and Jason Spillman on bass and vocals. The group plays songs by artists ranging from The Indigo Girls, The Eagles, The Avett Brothers and many more. The band will again be donating 10 percent of ticket sales for The Denver Actors Fund and taking a collection as a tribute to the late Amy Malmgren – an original DAF board member, and Jason Spillman’s sister. last time the total was a lucky $777. Gin and Tonix is as passionate about their community and family as they are about their music, which is touching. Now take the advice that is splased across the Clocktower’s web page: BOOK EARLY! GIN & TONIX *WILL SELL OUT IN ADVANCE!* Get your tickets here.


VISIT OUR ONLINE MERCH STORE:

Click here to see how you can buy DAF products such as T-shirts, key chains, puzzles and much more.

Denver Actors Fund in Action: Ryan Belinak

Ryan Belinak performing with Traci Kern at the Clocktower Cabaret. Photo by John Moore.

Two insurance policies and no coverage left local actor with $2,844 dental bill

Ryan Belinak in Cherry Creek Theatre’s ‘A Little Night Music.’ Photo by Olga Lopez.

Aid recipient: Longtime local actor Ryan Belinak most recently played Frid in ‘A Little Night Music’ for Cherry Creek Theatre last year. Local credits also include Tom Collins in “Rent,” Fakir in “The Secret Garden” and Tony in “West Side Story” for the Town Hall Arts Center. Ryan, a native of Laurel, Montana, also has performed at the Breckenridge Backstage Theatre and Clocktower Cabaret.

His medical story: Ryan had a dental emergency at the beginning of October leaving him with a fractured tooth resulting in an extraction, a costly bridge procedure, and requiring several dental visits. Ryan had switched insurance providers weeks before, and was shocked to learn that neither his present nor past insurance companies would kick in a dime. The old company said, “Not our problem.” And the new company said coverage for anything more than a cleaning would not kick in until March, which left Ryan holding the … cracked tooth. The bill came to $2,844, of which Ryan paid $500.

How we have helped: The Denver Actors Fund Board of Directors voted unanimously to pay off the remainder of Ryan’s bill, or $2,344.

A message from Ryan: “A dental emergency doesn’t always align itself with insurance coverage. I believed that my new insurance would bridge the gap between policies, but the fine print (the very, very fine print) in my new policy said otherwise. To say that I am grateful for The Denver Actors Fund’s generous donation is a gross understatement. Thank you for all that you do for our community!”

The Denver Actors Fund now has made more than $438,000 available to Colorado artists in medical need.

How you can help us help us help more Colorado theatre artists: If you would like to make a donation to The Denver Actors Fund, simply mail checks in any amount made out to Denver Actors Fund to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80212. Or use this donation link, with our humble thanks.

Read testimonials from other Denver Actors Fund beneficiaries here

Note: At The Denver Actors Fund, anonymity of aid recipients is presumed and fully protected, unless and until the recipient chooses to have their story told.

HOW TO MAKE A DONATION


ABOUT THE DENVER ACTORS FUND:

The Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in medical need. In addition to $438,000 in financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers have offered good neighborly assistance to more than 100 beneficiaries including meal prep and delivery, child care, transportation, errands, construction, pet-sitting and more. For more information, visit our web site at DenverActorsFund.Org.


HOW TO APPLY FOR AID:

To apply for Denver Actors Fund aid: Fill out this brief online form here


Hippo Health LogoGET INSTANT, FREE MEDICAL ADVICE: The Denver Actors Fund has launch of a major new FREE medical service for qualified Colorado theatre artists: We are partnering with Hippo Health to provide access to emergency medical evaluations via video conferencing with a Board-certified physician. Click to read more about this wonderful, innovative new partnership that will further improve the lives of artists!


MORE WAYS TO HELP:

DONATE ONLINE:

Go to our online giving site at: ColoradoGives.Org

DONATE BY MAIL:

Send checks made out to The Denver Actors Fund to:
P.O. Box 11182
Denver, CO 80211

VOLUNTEER:

Ever thought about taking a more active role in The Denver Actors Fund? Click here for more information


SHOP AT KING SOOPERS

Sign up for King Soopers’ Community Rewards Program and raise money for The DAF just by shopping for your groceries – and it doesn’t cost you an extra penny. It’s like the Amazon Smile Program. To sign up, simply go here and designate The DAF as your preferred non-profit. Each quarter, King Soopers sends us a donation based on how much our supporters have spent. Thanks to all of you who are shopping for The DAF!


COME TO THE EVENTS THAT SUPPORT US:

Alamo Hollywood's Biggest Night 2020

HOLLYWOOD’S BIGGEST NIGHT: Sunday, February 9, is the biggest night for the movies! What better way to be a part of the action on the big screen than to join Denver7 at the Alamo Drafthouse Westminster? This year’s host is beloved local actor Steven Burge … and friends (!). Dress your Hollywood best (formal evening wear suggested but not at all required!) Arrive around 5 p.m. in Pandora’s Box for your very own red carpet, paparazzi, and more before we open the doors for food, drinks and fun for everyone. Tickets are just $15 this year and ALL proceeds benefit The Denver Actors Fund! What’s The Denver Actors Fund? Well, Chris Hemsworth may have made $76 million to play Thor in “Avengers: Endgame,” but closer to home, Colorado stage actors often get paid tiny stipends to perform in plays and musicals at local theatres. They often sustain themselves by working a hodgepodge of flexible but low-paying jobs without health insurance. The Denver Actors Fund is a safety net for when Colorado theatre artists (on or off-stage) need help to pay for unexpected medical expenses. In six years, the Denver Actors Fund has made $435,000 available to help artists pay their medical bills or purchase wheelchairs, hearing aids and other essential medical supplies. In addition, an army of volunteers provides neighborly assistance ranging from rides to meals to snow-shoveling and personal company. Reserve your preferred seats today.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 17: The Cherry Creek Theatre Company has announced that its Industry Night performance of “My Way – A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra” will be a benefit for The Denver Actors Fund. Let the music of Frank Sinatra transport you back in time to a swanky nightclub on the Las Vegas strip. Experience more than 50 quintessential hits from the Ol’ Blue Eyes collection. From The Lady is a Tramp to New York, New York, you can’t help but hum along with your favorite jazz standards on this trip down memory lane. Pack up, let’s fly away and fall in love all over again with the music of one of the most celebrated recording artists of all time. The director is Susie Snodgrass, with musical direction from David Nehls. The cast includes Sheryl McCallum, Stephen Day, Shannon Steele and Jeremy Rill. Tickets (normally $33) are $20. At the Mizel Arts and Culture Center, 350 S. Dahlia St., 303-800-6578 or cherrycreektheatre.org

SUNDAY, APRIL 26: True story: A few months ago, the local band Gin & Tonix did a show at the Clocktower to benefit the DAF, and I wasn’t sure I could make it so I didn’t book in advance. I dropped in just before the show began to buy a ticket at the door, and the woman looked at me like I was trying to walk in on Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, BTS, Shawn Mendes and the Wu-Tang Clan all at once. The look on her face was priceless. The event was was way sold out. “Gin & Tonix sells out every time,” she said. Point taken. So who is Gin & Tonix? A group of talented musician friends and family who have made music together on and off for many years. The band features vocal the harmonies of Morgan Griego, Kacie Thomas, Trinity Thomas, and Eileen Adair, by Madi Spillman on guitar, Ian Spillman on drums and vocals, and Jason Spillman on bass and vocals. The group plays songs by artists ranging from The Indigo Girls, The Eagles, The Avett Brothers and many more. The band will again be donating 10 percent of ticket sales for The Denver Actors Fund and taking a collection as a tribute to the late Amy Malmgren – an original DAF board member, and Jason Spillman’s sister. last time the total was a lucky $777. Gin and Tonix is as passionate about their community and family as they are about their music, which is touching. Now take the advice that is splased across the Clocktower’s web page: BOOK EARLY! GIN & TONIX *WILL SELL OUT IN ADVANCE!* Get your tickets here.


VISIT OUR ONLINE MERCH STORE:

Click here to see how you can buy DAF products such as T-shirts, key chains, puzzles and much more.

Denver Actors Fund in Action: Misha McCulloch

Misha McCulloch
After the onset of mysterious symptoms and two surgeries, local actor left with $6,250 in bills

Aid recipient: Local actor Misha McCulloch recently appeared in the ensembles of Vintage Theatre’s “The Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” and “The Addams Family.” Previous credits include “Honeymoon in Vegas” and “Miss Saigon” at Vintage, as well as Equinox Theatre’s “Reefer Madness: The Musical” at The Bug Theatre. She also has served as a volunteer for the Town Hall Arts Center and Denver Film Society.

Her medical story: Misha encountered several mysterious gastrointestinal and sinus issues in 2019 that led to a series of surgical procedures to relieve her symptoms. Despite having some modest insurance, by the end of 2019, Misha had been presented with $6,250 in out-of-pocket expenses – and not all of her bills have yet been processed. Misha was facing the possibility of putting the entire amount due on high-interest credit cards when she contacted The Denver Actors Fund.

How we helped: Whenever possible, The Denver Actors Fund board of directors endeavors to restore an applicant to their financial position going into their medical odysseys (depending on a variety of factors). In this case, the Board decided to relieve Misha of her full $6,250 patient responsibility to date. This makes Misha’s gift one of the largest in DAF history, and one made possible only by the continuing and growing support for The DAF by individual donors and ongoing DAF fundraisers presented by companies within the local theatre community.

A message from Misha: “It’s never fun to have a year’s worth of medical procedures and have doctors still scratching their heads. After wiping out my Health Savings Account, I was resorting to putting all of my medical bills onto credit cards, and I was already in debt. But what I lack in answers I have an abundance in gratitude for The Denver Actors Fund. To receive this gift is beyond what I was expecting, but it just goes to show how incredible and magnanimous this community is. Thank you!”

The Denver Actors Fund now has made more than $435,000 available to Colorado artists in medical need.

How you can help us help us help more Colorado theatre artists: If you would like to make a donation to The Denver Actors Fund, simply mail checks in any amount made out to Denver Actors Fund to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80212. Or use this donation link, with our humble thanks.

Read testimonials from other Denver Actors Fund beneficiaries here

Note: At The Denver Actors Fund, anonymity of aid recipients is presumed and fully protected, unless and until the recipient chooses to have their story told.

Misha McCulloch, bottom left, in Equinox Theatre’s “Reefer Madness.” That’s her sister, Rachel McCulloch, standing behind her. Photo by Deb Flomberg.

HOW TO MAKE A DONATION


ABOUT THE DENVER ACTORS FUND:

The Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in medical need. In addition to $435,000 in financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers have offered good neighborly assistance to more than 100 beneficiaries including meal prep and delivery, child care, transportation, errands, construction, pet-sitting and more. For more information, visit our web site at DenverActorsFund.Org.


HOW TO APPLY FOR AID:

To apply for Denver Actors Fund aid: Fill out this brief online form here


Hippo Health LogoGET INSTANT, FREE MEDICAL ADVICE: The Denver Actors Fund has launch of a major new FREE medical service for qualified Colorado theatre artists: We are partnering with Hippo Health to provide access to emergency medical evaluations via video conferencing with a Board-certified physician. Click to read more about this wonderful, innovative new partnership that will further improve the lives of artists!


MORE WAYS TO HELP:

DONATE ONLINE:

Go to our online giving site at: ColoradoGives.Org

DONATE BY MAIL:

Send checks made out to The Denver Actors Fund to:
P.O. Box 11182
Denver, CO 80211

VOLUNTEER:

Ever thought about taking a more active role in The Denver Actors Fund? Click here for more information


SHOP AT KING SOOPERS

Sign up for King Soopers’ Community Rewards Program and raise money for The DAF just by shopping for your groceries – and it doesn’t cost you an extra penny. It’s like the Amazon Smile Program. To sign up, simply go here and designate The DAF as your preferred non-profit. Each quarter, King Soopers sends us a donation based on how much our supporters have spent. Thanks to all of you who are shopping for The DAF!


COME TO THE EVENTS THAT SUPPORT US:

Alamo Hollywood's Biggest Night 2020

HOLLYWOOD’S BIGGEST NIGHT: Sunday, February 9, is the biggest night for the movies! What better way to be a part of the action on the big screen than to join Denver7 at the Alamo Drafthouse Westminster? This year’s host is beloved local actor Steven Burge … and friends (!). Dress your Hollywood best (formal evening wear suggested but not at all required!) Arrive around 5 p.m. in Pandora’s Box for your very own red carpet, paparazzi, and more before we open the doors for food, drinks and fun for everyone. Tickets are just $15 this year and ALL proceeds benefit The Denver Actors Fund! What’s The Denver Actors Fund? Well, Chris Hemsworth may have made $76 million to play Thor in “Avengers: Endgame,” but closer to home, Colorado stage actors often get paid tiny stipends to perform in plays and musicals at local theatres. They often sustain themselves by working a hodgepodge of flexible but low-paying jobs without health insurance. The Denver Actors Fund is a safety net for when Colorado theatre artists (on or off-stage) need help to pay for unexpected medical expenses. In six years, the Denver Actors Fund has made $435,000 available to help artists pay their medical bills or purchase wheelchairs, hearing aids and other essential medical supplies. In addition, an army of volunteers provides neighborly assistance ranging from rides to meals to snow-shoveling and personal company. Reserve your preferred seats today.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 17: The Cherry Creek Theatre Company has announced that its Industry Night performance of “My Way – A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra” will be a benefit for The Denver Actors Fund. Tickets are $20. At the Mizel Arts and Culture Center, 350 S. Dahlia St., 303-800-6578 or cherrycreektheatre.org

SUNDAY, APRIL 26: True story: A few months ago, the local band Gin & Tonix did a show at the Clocktower to benefit the DAF, and I wasn’t sure I could make it so I didn’t book in advance. I dropped in just before the show began to buy a ticket at the door, and the woman looked at me like I was trying to walk in on Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, BTS, Shawn Mendes and the Wu-Tang Clan all at once. The look on her face was priceless. The event was was way sold out. “Gin & Tonix sells out every time,” she said. Point taken. So who is Gin & Tonix? A group of talented musician friends and family who have made music together on and off for many years. The band features vocal the harmonies of Morgan Griego, Kacie Thomas, Trinity Thomas, and Eileen Adair, by Madi Spillman on guitar, Ian Spillman on drums and vocals, and Jason Spillman on bass and vocals. The group plays songs by artists ranging from The Indigo Girls, The Eagles, The Avett Brothers and many more. The band will again be donating 10 percent of ticket sales for The Denver Actors Fund and taking a collection as a tribute to the late Amy Malmgren – an original DAF board member, and Jason Spillman’s sister. last time the total was a lucky $777. Gin and Tonix is as passionate about their community and family as they are about their music, which is touching. Now take the advice that is splased across the Clocktower’s web page: BOOK EARLY! GIN & TONIX *WILL SELL OUT IN ADVANCE!* Get your tickets here.


VISIT OUR ONLINE MERCH STORE:

Click here to see how you can buy DAF products such as T-shirts, key chains, puzzles and much more.

Denver Actors Fund in Action: Neal Dunfee

Neal Dunfee and his daughter at BDT Stage’s 2013 production of ‘Spamalot.’ Photo by John Moore.

‘Without this assistance from The Denver Actors Fund, I simply would not have been able to get the work done.’

Aid recipient: Neal Dunfee has been a professional musician and teacher in the metro area for more than 30 years. He is the resident Music Director at BDT Stage and teaches piano at his studio in Lyons. After high school in Grant City, Missouri, Neal toured Europe with “America’s Youth in Concert.” He studied Piano Performance at Missouri Western, Wichita State and the University of Colorado Boulder. Dunfee won the 2011 Denver Post Ovation Award for his musical direction of “Swing!,” and has been nominated for Henry Awards for “The Producers,” “Swing!,” “The Drowsy Chaperone,” “42nd Street” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” His current production is BDT Stage’s “Mamma Mia!” He’s also worked at the Candlelight Dinner Playhouse, PACE Center and others.

His medical story: Neal approached The Denver Actors Fund in November for help in getting overdue treatment for gum disease that he had no choice but to let go for more than two years because he lacked dental insurance.

Jalyn Courtenay Webb and Neal Dunfee. Photo by John Moore.

How we helped: The Denver Actors Fund has a partnering dentist who accepts a limited number of emergency cases each year as his personal, in-kind donation through the Dental Center at Thornton Plaza. Dr. Brian Kelly DDS (himself a former Broadway dancer!) extracted three of Neal’s teeth and crowned two others. The cost of Neal’s treatment would run him $3,532 had he not been referred through the The Denver Actors Fund. Of that total, The DAF paid $198 to a third-party lab for the cost of making two custom-fit prosthetic splints for Neal. The remainder – $3,334 – was Dr. Kelly’s in-kind donation to the DAF.

A message from Neal: “I had been embarrassed by the condition of my teeth for two years, but I did not have the resources to do anything about it. Without this assistance from The Denver Actors Fund, I simply would not have been able to get the work done. If I had financed it, I would have been paying for it for five years. I was terrified to see Dr. Kelly after letting so much time go by, but he is a great guy and he was completely upbeat and supportive. He is amazing for doing what he does for all of us in the Colorado theatre community.”

The Denver Actors Fund now has made more than $435,000 available to Colorado artists in medical need.

How you can help us help us help more Colorado theatre artists: If you would like to make a donation to The Denver Actors Fund, simply mail checks in any amount made out to Denver Actors Fund to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80212. Or use this donation link, with our humble thanks.

Read testimonials from other Denver Actors Fund beneficiaries here

Note: At The Denver Actors Fund, anonymity of aid recipients is presumed and fully protected, unless and until the recipient chooses to have their story told.

Neal Dunfee, center, was the keyboardist for the Bodacious Bobcats, the house band for Parker Arts’ 2015 production of ‘Always, Patsy Cline.’ From left: Scott Alan Smith, Jason Tyler Vaughn, Neal Dunfee, Bob Case and Dan Hoeye, Photo by John Moore.

HOW TO MAKE A DONATION


ABOUT THE DENVER ACTORS FUND:

The Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in medical need. In addition to $435,000 in financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers have offered good neighborly assistance to more than 100 beneficiaries including meal prep and delivery, child care, transportation, errands, construction, pet-sitting and more. For more information, visit our web site at DenverActorsFund.Org.


HOW TO APPLY FOR AID:

To apply for Denver Actors Fund aid: Fill out this brief online form here



Hippo Health LogoGET INSTANT, FREE MEDICAL ADVICE: The Denver Actors Fund has launch of a major new FREE medical service for qualified Colorado theatre artists: We are partnering with Hippo Health to provide access to emergency medical evaluations via video conferencing with a Board-certified physician. Click to read more about this wonderful, innovative new partnership that will further improve the lives of artists!


MORE WAYS TO HELP:

DONATE ONLINE:

Go to our online giving site at: ColoradoGives.Org

DONATE BY MAIL:

Send checks made out to The Denver Actors Fund to:
P.O. Box 11182
Denver, CO 80211

VOLUNTEER:

Ever thought about taking a more active role in The Denver Actors Fund? Click here for more information


SHOP AT KING SOOPERS

Sign up for King Soopers’ Community Rewards Program and raise money for The DAF just by shopping for your groceries – and it doesn’t cost you an extra penny. It’s like the Amazon Smile Program. To sign up, simply go here and designate The DAF as your preferred non-profit. Each quarter, King Soopers sends us a donation based on how much our supporters have spent. Thanks to all of you who are shopping for The DAF!


COME TO THE EVENTS THAT SUPPORT US:

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 9: Save the Date: For the fifth straight year, The Denver Actors Fund will partner with the Alamo Drafthouse and the local ABC station KMGH-7 for a “Hollywood’s Biggest Night” viewing party, with a percentage of the proceeds benefiting The DAF. Check back on the DAF Events page when advance tickets go on sale.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 17: The Cheery Creek Theatre Company has announced that its Industry Night performance of “My Way – A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra” will be a benefit for The Denver Actors Fund. Tickets are $20. At the Mizel Arts and Culture Center, 350 S. Dahlia St., 303-800-6578 or cherrycreektheatre.org


VISIT OUR ONLINE MERCH STORE:

Click here to see how you can buy DAF products such as T-shirts, key chains, puzzles and much more.