Funds raised for the late Doug Rosen donated to Denver Actors Fund


The late Doug Rosen with his friend, Sarah Roshan. Funds donated in Rosen’s name are being redirected to the new Denver Actors Fund.

By John Moore

Sarah Roshan established a fund in 2009 to help Denver actor Doug Rosen battle cancer. The local community responded, so much so that Rosen never got the chance to take advantage of the funds raised before he passed away.

Even after Roshan assigned about $2,700 of the $3,000 the Rosen campaign had raised from individual contributions to help fellow actor Shelley Bordas’ cancer fight, the account had a small surplus.

This week, Roshan decided to pay it forward, giving the last $220 to the new Denver Actors Fund.

“His wish was that his money be used for theatre folk in need for medical expenses,” said Roshan. That is exactly why the Denver Actors Fund was created earlier this year: As a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in sudden medical need. Roshan’s gift brings the  balance of the Denver Actor’s Fund to about $3,600.

When Rosen was diagnosed with AIDS in 1985, he was told he had, at most, two years to live. He made it almost 25, during which he founded “To Life LIVE,” a series of performances for patients hospitalized with AIDS. Rosen died in 2009 at age 43. Here is my tribute piece to Doug Rosen.

The Denver Actors Fund is planning its third community-wide gathering under the motto, “raising funds while building community.” New Advisory Council chair Shannon McAndrews is planning a DAF Halloween costume party for 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 28, at the Avenue Theater, 417 E. 17th Ave. More information on that party is coming tomorrow.

Board president and local actor Christopher Boeckx, who just passed the bar exam, said he will make an announcement that night about the date the DAF can officially begin taking applications for aid.

Fund volunteers plan to offer assistance to those in need in ways that go beyond monetary — including meal preparation, construction, time-sharing and, eventually, transportation.

Boeckx has undertaken the arduous legal process of qualifying the DAF for 501(c)3 non-profit status. But he said all donations now made to the Fund are already fully tax-deductable.

For more information on the Denver Actors Fund:

To donate directly to the Denver Actors Fund:


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Photos: Shelly Bordas benefit performances raise money, lift hearts

The video above is Part 2 from my ongoing video documentary, “The Shelly Bordas Story.”


By John Moore
March 4, 2013

Back-to-back benefits for Shelly Bordas on Sunday and Monday nights brought grassroots fundraising efforts to help the cancer-stricken Denver mother, teacher and actor to nearly $30,000.

On Sunday, a concert organized by Mitch Samu was held at the Columbine United Church in Littleton. Some of the theater community’s most accomplished singers offered an evening of pop songs, Broadway tunes and spirituals. Featured performers included Joanie Brosseau, Sarah Rex, Megan Van De Hey, Thad Valdez, Ryan Belinak, Colin Hearn, Barry Brown, Kristen Samu and Tag Worley. The guest speaker was the church’s pastor, Steve Poos-Benson.


On Monday, a benefit performance of the Broadway musical “9 to 5” was held at the Littleton Town Hall Arts Center, where Bordas still teaches youth theater classes when she is up for it.


Both events were “pay what you can.” Sunday’s event raised $1,500; Monday’s another $2,400.

Before Monday’s performance, Denver actor, director and photographer Sarah Roshan presented Bordas with a check for $15,000. That’s the first payout from a fundraising web site Roshan started on GoGetFunding.Com to help defray Bordas’ medical costs, and help establish a college trust for her son, Nathan, who turns 4 next month.


Bordas has been battling breast cancer since 2009. In December 2012, she learned it has spread to her brain. Doctors have told her they cannot guarantee her a year, or even a week.

Bordas, who was hospitalized for five days last week with a blood infection, was able to attend the first half of Sunday’s benefit concert with her son, Nathan, and the first act of “9 to 5” the next night. At Monday’s benefit, Bordas expressed both her gratitude and embarrassment for all the love that has been flowing her way these past two months.

What got all of these fundraising efforts started was Bordas having to drop out of “9 to 5” to spend as much of her remaining time as possible with her son. She mentioned to the cast that her immediate goal was to take her son on a Disney cruise, “because I need to see that happen.” On Monday, she said she has booked a week-long Disney cruise to the Caribbean launching May 4 to celebrate Nathan’s 4th birthday. She will be accompanied by a team of family and care-givers, all made possible by the generosity of donors from the theater community and around the world.

To learn more about Shelly Bordas’ story, please take a look at my ongoing video documentary, “The Shelly Bordas Story”:

Part 1: “Tit for Tot”
Part 2: “My Son Wins” (embedded at the top of the page)
Part 3 will focus on how the community has responded to Bordas’ illness.

Here’s how fundraising efforts have broken down to date:
GoGet Funding.Com fundraising page: $17,520
Checks mailed to Town Hall Arts Center: $6,000
Benefit performances (including a night of improv at Voodoo Comedy Playhouse): $4,170
Contribution from the family of late actor Doug Rosen: $2,000

Dani Nelson Everson, a hair stylist who has never met Bordas, will host a cut-a-thon to benefit Bordas from 4-6:30 p.m. on Friday, March 8 at Clementine’s Denver, 2009 W. 33rd Ave. Phone: 720-328-3594.

Note: the coordinator of all Shelly Bordas fundraising efforts is Kelly Kates. Her email is

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Photos, Part 1: Benefit performance of “9 to 5”:
All photos by John Moore for www.CultureWest.Org.

Denver actor Sue Leiser presents Bordas with a production photo signed by the Los Angeles cast of “9 to 5,” currently featuring Denver native and Broadway veteran Beth Malone. They also sent a check for $150 that Malone had collected from L.A. cast members.


Part of the “9 to 5” cast backstage, from left: Taylor Young, Rebekah Ortiz, Norrell Moore, Matthew D. Peters, Rae Klapperich, Melissa Morris and Rob Rehburg.


Shelly Bordas with “9 to 5” director, and old friend, Christopher Willard.


“9 to 5” cast member Matthew D. Peters is having way too much fun with the many readily available costumes backstage at the Town Hall Arts Center.


Sarah Roshan presents Shelly Bordas with a $15,000 check from her fundraising page at


Denver actor Lisa Young.


Margie Lamb, who plays Violet in “9 to 5,” left, with Denver actor Carla Kaiser Kotrc, who attended college with Shelly Bordas at Western State in Gunnison.

(Please click below to go to the next page and see more photos from Sunday’s benefit concert at Columbine United Church.)