Denver Actors Fund in Action: Lisa and Mike Young

Mike and Lisa Young
Photo by RDG Photography.

‘Within only a few hours, we had our tremendous burden lifted from us’

Aid recipients: Lisa and Michael “Big Mike” Young of Parker are longtime married performers in the local theatre community. Lisa is an actor who has recently appeared in Theatre Artibus’ “Recipe,” the Aurora Fox’s “Caroline, Or Change,” and Bitsy Stage’s “The Necromancer’s Stone.” Lisa, a graduate of Rangeview High School, a drama teacher for the Aurora Public Schools and a member of the Colorado Theater Guild’s board of directors, is also a longtime performer with Phamaly Theatre Company (“Fiddler on the Roof,” “Rapunzel,” “It’s a Wonderful Life” and many more.) Michael, a Parker native and graduate of Ponderosa High School, is a musician who recently played the trumpet in Performance Now’s “Crazy for You” and Lone Tree Arts Center’s “Motones vs. Jerseys,” They have been married since 2001.

Mike Young in 'Motones vs. Jerseys.' Lisa Young in a reading of 'The Laramie Project.'
Mike Young in ‘Motones vs. Jerseys.’ Lisa Young in a reading of ‘The Laramie Project.’

Their medical stories: Last year, Lisa slipped on black ice, felt a disconnect in her knee and went to urgent care. After a long medical odyssey, her injury was eventually determined to be a torn meniscus. She has been receiving treatment since, but may ultimately require surgery to fully repair the damage. Michael hurt his back and later had a severe allergic reaction to his blood-pressure medication that sent him to the ICU for two days. Despite having health insurance, the couple were initially left with a combined $3,039.34 in out-of-pocket expenses.

How we initially helped: The Denver Actors Fund Board of Directors voted unanimously to pay the full amount owed at the time, or $3,039.34.

The aftershock: As so often happens, some of the biggest bills are the last to arrive. Weeks later, Michael Young received an additional bill for $2,888 from SkyRidge Medical Center. The DAF has paid down $2,022 of this bill. That brings our total support for the Young family to $5,061 to date.

How you can help us help the Youngs more: Even with this latest gift, the Youngs still owe $866 on their bill. If you would like to direct a specific donation to help give them more breathing room, simply mail checks in any amount made out to The Denver Actors Fund (with Michael Young’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 Michael Young. (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 the Lisa and “Big Mike” Young family:

“We mustache you a question: How can two Denver performers be more grateful for the organization called The Denver Actors Fund? When we both had recent medical encounters, accumulating thousands in medical bills, we had no idea how our bills were going to be paid. So we reached out to The Denver Actors Fund. Within only a few hours, we had our tremendous burden lifted from us. “Thank you” seems too small but … THANK YOU! Thank you for all you do for the artists in our community. Love. Mike and Lisa Young.”


The Denver Actors Fund has now made more than $528,000 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.

The Youngs at the 2017 Henry Awards. Photo by Brian Landis Folkins.


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 $528,000 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.


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



Go to our online giving site at: ColoradoGives.Org


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


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


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.


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

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!

By John Moore

Award-winning arts journalist John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the United States by American Theatre Magazine during has 12 years at The Denver Post. Hen then created a groundbreaking new media outlet covering Colorado arts an culture as an in-house, multimedia journalist for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. He also founded The Denver Actors Fund, a nonprofit that has raised more than $600,000 for theatre artists in medical need. He is now a journalist for hire as the founder of Moore Media Colorado. You can find samples of his work at MooreJohn.Com. Contact him at