Denver Actors Fund in Action: Jeff Butler

john

 

NEW PACEMAKER REALLY GETS ACTOR’S BLOOD PUMPING

Aid recipient: Jeff Butler has long appeared on local stages, most frequently participating in the annual Magic Moments musical revue. He also played the Governor in Performance Now’s “Man of La Mancha” in 2017 and is the lead singer in his jazz band, Jeff Butler and the Sizzlers. Jeff attended the very first DAF fundraising event (an evening of karaoke) and our first volunteer recruitment meeting. Jeff was a close friend with one of our founding board members, Amy Malmgren, a mother of three who died of cancer in 2016. By day, Jeff is a sales rep for The Dillon Company, which provides marketing support for manufacturing companies. Jeff is a native of Pine and attended Open Living High School in Evergreen.

Jeff Butler at The DAF’s inaugural fundraiser in 2013.

His medical story: The DAF first helped Jeff a few years ago, when some of our volunteers shoveled his walks while he recovered from shoulder surgery. But 2020 has been an especially difficult medical year, all leading up to a diagnosis of a heart arrhythmia and an extremely slow heart rate. (How slow? His pulse once clocked in at 13 beats per minute.) Jeff had surgery to have a pacemaker implanted on September 3 and now reports increased energy and mental acuity – as if a cloud has been lifted from his brain. Jeff paid more than $2,000 of the cost himself along the way, but still was left with a total post-insurance patient responsibility of $6,140.

How we have helped: The DAF Board of Directors approved a gift of $4,300 to help pay down Jeff’s medical expenses.

How you can help us help Jeff more: If you would like to direct a specific donation to help give Jeff some breathing room and pay down his bills more, simply mail checks in any amount made out to The Denver Actors Fund (with Jeff Butler’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 Jeff Butler. (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.

‘Knowing that The Denver Actors Fund exists gave me hope and some peace of mind.’

A message from Jeff:

“Nothing like having your heart giving out and accruing a big pile of debt all at the same time. It takes talent, I guess. So, here’s what’s interesting: I really wasn’t worried about the money while all of this was going on. I was acutely aware that I should have been worried. But I wasn’t. No doubt, the aforementioned lazy-heart thing was keeping me distracted. But knowing that The Denver Actors Fund exists, and having seen them help so many others over the years, gave me hope and some peace of mind.

Early in its existence, The DAF was there for someone very special to me. Someone I cared for most of the last two years that she fought cancer. Her name is Amy Malmgren. She was among the first board members for The DAF back in 2013. I miss her every day. The DAF was there for her, no questions asked. The DAF even made a $1,000 posthumous gift to help Amy’s three boys.

Back in 2013, I attended The DAF’s first volunteer meeting with Amy. I’ve watched the organization flourish and help people over and over ever since. Now they have again helped me. These people have my admiration, respect and my undying appreciation. And I can say with 100 percent certainty that Amy’s family loves The Denver Actors Fund!

From the bottom of my still-beating heart: Thank you!”

Read testimonials from other Denver Actors Fund beneficiaries here

Jeff Butler in Performance Now’s “Man of La Mancha.”

The Denver Actors Fund has now made $665,000 available to Colorado theatre artists.

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 source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in medical need. In addition to $665,000 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


Maria DrosteNEW: AFFORDABLE MENTAL HEALTH CARE

The Denver Actors Fund has launched a major new collaboration with the Maria Droste Counseling Center of Colorado to provide affordable, professional health care to any qualifying Colorado theatre artist who needs it. CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION


GET INSTANT, FREE MEDICAL ADVICE: The Denver Actors Fund now offers a major new FREE medical service for qualified Colorado theatre artists: Access to emergency medical evaluations via video conferencing with a Board-certified physician through Hippo Health. Click to read more about this innovative new service!


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.


SUPPORT THE EVENTS THAT SUPPORT US:

NOVEMBER 20: Do you remember The Country Dinner Playhouse? More than 4.6 million theatregoers attended 200 plays and musicals at The Barn, as it was affectionately known in southwest Denver, from 1970-2007. When things were really cooking, the Playhouse drew 150,000 people every year while serving up country-style buffet to its loyal patrons. It has been 13 years since the Country Dinner Playhouse abruptly closed its doors. Among those put out of work were the beloved Barnstormers, an octet of singers who provided the theater’s pre-show entertainment as well as table service for the audience. There were more than 100 individuals who had been Barnstormers over the years, many of whom have gone on to major carers on the stage and screen. Stephen C. Turner, recently featured in Candlelight Dinner Playhouse’s “Camelot” in Johnstown, has gathered many of them for an upcoming online reunion concert with 100 percent of the proceeds going to The Denver Actors Fund. “This year, The Barn would have celebrated 50 years of business,” said Turner, a Barnstormer from 2004-7. “Now seems like a great time for a reunion concert. The Denver Actors Fund is a great organization that has helped many of our friends in the local theater community. We want to help them any way we can, without putting ourselves or our friends in any danger.” The concert will air from 7-8:30 p.m. on November 20. Tickets now on sale for a donation of $10 per viewer. Order here. Meantime, read more about the Country Dinner Playhouse here.

 


 

Check out who’s performing in this year’s virtual ‘CAST 2020!’

AVAILABLE NOW: This year “Miscast,” the major annual fundraiser for The Denver Actors Fund, pivoted to “CAST 2020,” a professionally produced on-demand video concert featuring Colorado theatre artists performing in roles they WERE cast to play before the coronavirus shut down their shows. “CAST 2020” includes nearly a dozen showstopping songs by an all-star lineup of Colorado theatre performers:

  • Rebecca Myers, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center’s ‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee’
  • Lisa Kay Carter and Seth Dhonou, Arvada Center’s ‘Something Rotten’
  • Kalyn Heffernan of Wheelchair Sports Camp with Michelle Rocqet, Phamaly Theatre Company’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’
  • Scott Hurst, Candlelight Dinner Playhouse’s ‘Curtains’
  • Mary Louise Lee, Vintage Theatre’s ‘Gypsy’
  • McKayla Marso, BDT Stage’s ‘The Sound of Music’
  • Cal Meakins, Forge Light Theatreworks’ ‘Bare: The Musical’
  • Keith Hershman and Jessie Oblazny, Magic Moments’ ‘Take the High Road’
  • Mercedes Perez, Lake Dillon Theatre’s ‘Man of La Mancha’
  • Jenna Moll Reyes, Aurora Fox’s ‘Freaky Friday’
  • Camryn Torres, Miners Alley Playhouse’s ‘Once on This Island’

For your donation of at least $20, you will be sent a link to the video within 24 hours. You can then watch the concert at your leisure. Reserve your link today

‘Miscast’ is the major annual fundraiser for The Denver Actors Fund. It produced each year by Robert Michael Sanders and Kenny Moten, wit 100 percent of all proceeds going to The DAF. ‘CAST 2020’ was recorded primarily at Focus Event Studios in north Denver and edited by Ray Bailey TV. We are grateful to all of them for making this important event possible, and to you for watching.



From left: Concert hosts Annaleigh Ashford, Denise Gentilini, Beth Malone and Neyla Pekarek.

THROUGH NOVEMBER 23: Julia Tobey and Eugene Ebner present an uplifting, nearly all-Colorado video concert to launch her new Sublimelight Studios. The concert hosts are Grammy Award nominee Neyla Pekarek (formerly of The Lumineers), Tony Award winner Annaleigh Ashford (“You Can’t Take it With You”), three-time Emmy Award-winning composer Denise Gentilini, and Tony Award nominee Beth Malone (“Fun Home.”) Performers slated to perform or speak include Elizabeth Welch (“The Phantom of the Opera”), Gregory Treco (“Hamilton”), Jason Veasey (“The Lion King”), Josh Franklin (“The Prom”), Piper Lindsay Arpan (“Spamalot”), Shannan Steele, David Nehls, Robert Michael Sanders, Megan Van De Hey, Kenny Moten, Lauren Shealy, Jalyn Courtenay Webb, Jessica Hindsley, Lynzee and Chris Jones, Adriane and Marco Robinson, Julie Payne, Natalie Oliver-Atherton, Jennifer Condreay, Paul Page, Dixie Krystals, Shirley Delta Blow, Sophia Dotson, Evan Gibley, Hannah Katz, Abby Linderman, Eden Lane and Sue Leiser. Ensembles performing include Black Iris Collective, Spinphony, The Beverly Belles and The Honey Taps. All in 90 minutes (!). The goal is to raise $75,000 to support Sublimelight, a new arts and wellness community set to open in Denver in 2021. Ten percent of proceeds will go to The Denver Actors Fund. Viewers can watch from home anytime through November 23. Order here

 


 

ONGOING:Waiting for Obama,” the audio version of John Moore’s play that was an official selection at the 2016 New York International Fringe Festival, has been released as way of raisning funds for The Denver Actors Fund. A Colorado Springs family is convinced that Barack Obama is coming for their guns in the final weeks of his presidency – and they’re right. Featuring Laurence Curry, Drew Horwitz, Chris Kendall, Leslie O’Carroll, Jenna Moll Reyes, Jessica Robblee, Luke Sorge and Mare Trevathan. It was recorded by the staff of Parker Arts at the PACE Center as an in-kind donation to The Denver Actors Fund. Listen for FREE on all major podcasting platforms including Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Podbean. Just by listening, you will be raising revenue for The DAF! Or, WATCH the recording as a pay-per-view video for $9.95 on Broadway on Demand. ‘Waiting for Obama’ was recorded by the staff of Parker Arts at the PACE Center and edited by Ray Bailey TV as in-kind donations to The Denver Actors Fund. The actors also donated their services.

 


 

ONGOING: “Quarantine Week by Weak” is a new photographic coffee-table book by Susannah McLeod and her wife, Chloe McLeod, who chronicled their home life during the COVID19 shutdown with a light-hearteded photo series documenting their lives during quarantine. They produced more than 35 sets of humorous photos comparing the beginning of quarantine to later in the “stay-at-home” period. Susannah pulled out her camera and we started to play,” said Chloe McLeod. As popularity for the series grew on Instagram and after a feature in Westword, the couple started exploring options to publish the series as a book to benefit The Denver Actors Fund. To order, visit http://mcleod9creative.com/shop/quarantine-week-by-weak-photo-book. This project is generously sponsored by: The Albritton Family; Natalie Bowen and Jim Corbett; Dave Dyer; Julie Dyer; and Denise Gentilini and Lynette Prisner. Additional support provided by Angie Flachman and Sandy Birkey at The Publishing House and Sandra Lee Stuart.


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.