Denver Actors Fund in Action: Beki Pineda

BEKI PINEDA. Photo by John Moore

‘The Denver Actors Fund’s volunteer angels stepped up and came through the way they always do.’

Aid recipient: Properties Director Beki Pineda, who was given the Colorado Theatre Guild’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2019 Henry Awards, has been an active member of the Colorado theatre community since the early 1980s. She started as a volunteer at the Bonfils Theatre on East Colfax Avenue before building her trade in properties for countless theater companies. Beki, who turned 80 on August 19, has worked on the making of 10 theatrical productions in the past year alone, most recently Vintage Theatre’s “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” and Firehouse Theater’s “Outside Mullingar.” She is also the longtime Box Office Manager at Denver School of the Arts, where she has helped organize ongoing collections for The Denver Actors Fund.

Her medical story: We’ve been helping Beki in a couple of  ways over the past year, including buying her new eyeglasses ($325) and hooking her up with our partnering dentist, Brian Kelly DDS, for his help on a dental matter (a service valued at $182.) Then Beki’s world was rocked at the end of March when a fainting spell led to a breast-cancer diagnosis. She has since undergone surgery for successive mastectomies.

How we have helped Beki: As Beki recovered from surgery, Denver Actors Fund Volunteer Coordinator Kristen Samu arranged for a team to help Beki recover, starting with several weeks of meals delivered to her apartment and other assistance. Her out-of-pocket medical expenses to date have totaled $2,213, which The Denver Actors Fund has paid in full.

Update: The Denver Actors Fund has additionally reimbursed Beki Pineda for the cost of her new prosthetic breasts at a cost of $744. To date, including targeted donations from the community, The Denver Actors Fund has now provided Beki with $3,668 in overall medical assistance.

How Beki has helped us: In addition to being a longtime monthly donor to The Denver Actors Fund, Beki is among our original and most steadfast Action Team volunteers. She played a vital role in helping us to transform actor Russell Costen’s low-income apartment while he was in the hospital recovering from lung-cancer surgery. When we put the call out for drivers to help actor Gregory Alan West, who needed long-term transportation to and from rehab appointments following heart and kidney transplants, Beki was one of three volunteers who drove Gregory three times a week for more than four months. And she was a primary helper when The Denver Actors Fund helped actor Abner Genece recuperate at home following a near-fatal car accident. In each case, the DAF beneficiary has been younger than Beki.

How you can help us help Beki more: At age 80 and coming off two major surgeries, Beki’s financial situation is at best, uncertain. If you would like to direct a specific donation to help give Beki some financial breathing room, simply mail checks in any amount made out to Denver Actors Fund (with Beki Pineda’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 a targeted donation for Beki Pineda. (She 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 Beki: “Words you pray you’ll never hear: ‘You have cancer.’ So casually spoken – so heartbreakingly heard. A few tears are allowed, and then you pull up your big-girl panties and say, ‘OK, let’s take care of this little problem.’ When my surgeon explained that the top half of my right breast was ‘fully engaged,’ I asked her if the bottom half was just dating? She responded with. ‘Oh, you’re going to be just fine.’ If you want to know the true definition of a village, try getting sick in this theatre community! Best friends, casual acquaintances and people from years past all rallied around to fill my fridge and offer rides. They called to check on me, share their experiences and send prayers. The Denver Actors Fund’s volunteer angels stepped up and came through the way they always do. What an amazing gift it has been to have The Denver Actors Fund on my side through this whole ordeal. I am so happy happy to report that the cancer is gone, with no need for chemo. Dr. Julie Barone literally saved my life by discovering a second cancer that didn’t show up on any of the tests and caught it before it could do any lasting damage. I feel I have been spared for a reason … maybe to help make The Denver Actors Fund stronger and more productive than ever. God bless you, everyone!”

The Denver Actors Fund has now made more than $386,000 available to Colorado artists in medical need.

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.


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 $378,000 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


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

COME TO THE EVENTS THAT SUPPORT US:

SEPTEMBER 20-22: Ovation West (formerly Evergreen Chorale), will continue its tradition of donating a portion of all ticket sales from a designated weekend of its production of “Cabaret” to the Denver Actors Fund. Kander & Ebb’s classic musical is set in a 1920s Berlin nightclub starring Miss Sally Bowles, where an American writer is coming of age and an era of indulgence and ambiguity are coming to an end with the rise of the Nazi Party. Musical numbers include “Willkommen” and “Don’t Tell Mama.” Starring Abby Kate Herron as Sally Bowles, Kalond Irlanda as the Emcee and Brian Caplan as Cliff and and Directed by Christopher Willard, Musical Direction by Christine Gaudreau and Patrick Lee, and Choreography by Christina Caplan. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday at Center Stage, 27608 Fireweed Drive, Evergreen. Tickets at 303-674-4002 or ovationwest.org.

Gin TonixSUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22: Jason Spillman and his family band “Gin & Tonix” are playing at the Clocktower Cabaret and donating 10 percent of total tickets sales to The Denver Actors Fund. Gin & Tonix, a group of talented musicians who have made music together for many years, features the harmonies of Morgan Griego, Kacie Thomas, Trinity Thomas and Eileen Adair, backed by Madi Spillman on guitar, Ian Spillman on drums and vocals, and Jason Spillman on bass and vocals. Gin & Tonix will be performing songs by Pentatonix, The Indigo Girls, The Eagles, The Avett Brothers and more. This is expected to be a sold-out show so reserve your seat now. Tickets are $20. Show starts at 7 p.m. at 16th and Arapahoe streets on the 16th Street Mall.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 30: “Miscast,” which is presented each year by Robert Michael Sanders as a benefit for The Denver Actors Fund, is an opportunity for local performers to sing songs and act out scenes they would never … ever! … get cast to perform on any legit stage. Think gender-bending, race-bending and age-bending. Odd couples and mixed groups. Wrong is oh so right. “Miscast” has evolved over the years into one of the biggest nights of the year in the Colorado theatre community – and it is a really good show. “Miscast 2019” will be held Sept. 30 at a new location: The Aurora Fox Arts Center. Tickets are available right now.

Barton BrothersMONDAY, OCTOBER 28: You know Jack Barton in the title roles of BDT Stage’s “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and “Peter and the Starcatcher.” He’s also half of an infectious, high-energy dueling piano duet called The Barton Brothers, who mix piano-bar sing-along classics with updated contemporary covers and original songs. Jack and Dan Barton are classically trained pianists and childhood choir nerds who grew up sharing stereos, piano teachers and bunk beds, developing a familiar musical vocabulary from the beginning. They’ll be taking over the BDT Stage stage for one night only, and BDT will donate $5 from every $25 ticket sold to The Denver Actors Fund. BDT is one of our greatest community partners. Please help them to continue to help us in aiding the incredible artists who make BDT Stage and all Colorado theatre such a wonderful and vibrant community. Note: There will be an a la carte menu available, but no food is included with the ticket for this event. Starys and 7 p.m. at 5501 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, GET TICKETS HERE

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