By John Moore
Feb. 18, 2013
When it was first suggested a week ago that friends of Shelly Bordas kick in a few bucks to send the cancer-stricken actor on a Disney Cruise with her son, they were simply asked to mail checks to the Town Hall Arts Center, where Bordas teaches youth theater classes and was set to perform in the upcoming musical “9 to 5.” That was, until her diagnosis was changed to terminal after it was discovered her breast cancer had spread to her brain.
What a week it has been.
Since then, her friend Sarah Roshan has created an online fundraising page that, as of midnight tonight, rested at $15,675 (not including PayPal processing fees). Now we have our first reports that about $4,500 already has been sent to Town Hall through the mail, bringing the total raised to help the beloved actor and mother to just more than $20,000 – “and more cards are coming in every day,” said “9 to 5” choreographer Kelly Kates.
“I am blown away,” Bordas told me in response. “Somewhere in my childhood, I must have done something right.”
On her Facebook page, Bordas added the following message:
First of all, that loud thump you heard was me fainting to the floor. I have no words. But second, I need you to know that I have 37 voice messages and over 400 emails to read and respond to. I want to get to you all, so please be patient as I get through these. My heart aches with love and gratefulness. Thank you, you incredible community. I love you so much.
Roshan has since raised the online goal to $25,000, and there is plenty of need for it. With the start of the new year, Bordas has a huge new annual health-insurance deductible she must start to chip away at, when her only present source of income is the classes she can teach at Town Hall only when she is strong enough to do so. And she just has started a demanding new round of chemo.
Bordas also has been told that, after nearly four years and 15 surgeries to combat cancer, she is rapidly approaching her “lifetime insurance payout cap” — meaning that at some point, her insurance company will cut her off.
Some of the money raised also will be set aside to establish a college trust for Bordas’ 3 1/2-year-old son, Nathan.
“Donors can rest assured that any money raised in excess of the vacation costs is still very necessary and will absolutely be put to good use,” said Bordas’ friend, actor Steve Burge.
Note: the coordinator of all Shelly Bordas fundraising efforts is Kelly Kates. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Previous reporting on this story:
The initial CultureWest.Org news report on Shelly’s story
The Bordas fund reaches $10,000 in first 24 hours
Information on other upcoming fundraising efforts
*Voodoo Comedy Playhouse is donating all proceeds from its three shows on Wednesday, Feb. 20, to Shelly Bordas. Admission is $5. 1260 22nd St. in LoDo.
*Dani Nelson Everson, a hair stylist who has never met Bordas, owns a salon in the Highlands neighborhood. She will host a cut-a-thon, with all proceeds to benefit Bordas, from 4-6:30 p.m. on March 8 at Clementine’s Denver, 2009 W. 33rd Ave. Phone: 720-328-3594.
*The Town Hall Arts Center has announced a “pay what you can” performance of “9 to 5” on Monday, March 4, with all funds going to Bordas. Call 303-794-2787 for reservations.
Bonus coverage: Listen to my very funny “Running Lines” podcast episode with Shelly when she was appearing in Theatre Group’s 2006 production of “Debbie Does Dallas.” She played Lisa and was also the musical’s “cheerographer.”