Benefit concert supports LightHouse for the Blind's 'enchanted' camp program | January 8, 2020 | Almanac | Almanac Online |

Almanac

Arts & Entertainment - January 8, 2020

Benefit concert supports LightHouse for the Blind's 'enchanted' camp program

Submitted by Nancy Gill

Steve and Anne Gill, along with former Woodside resident Jenn Mitchell, who now sings with the San Francisco Symphony, will present "Magic to do: Broadway in the 1970s" for the 18th annual benefit concert for LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 18 and 19.

The concerts will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Menlo School's Spieker Ballroom.

The Gills will be joined by talented Menlo alumni, who come from as far away as Sweden, former Menlo music director Linda Jordan, and Bay Area director and actor Alex Perez. They will present highlights from "Pippin," "Godspell," "Jesus Christ Superstar," "Company," "Chorus Line" and many more shows.

In 1997, shortly after Anne graduated from Los Altos High School, she was in a near-fatal car accident that left her blind and brain injured. In the spring of 1998, after a long rehabilitation period, she came home.

The Gills were frustrated to discover that while many programs serve those with traumatic brain injuries, and others help the blind and visually impaired, very few resources are designed to help people, like their daughter, who have multiple disabilities. Therefore, they were delighted to find out that the San Francisco-based LightHouse offers a session at its Enchanted Hills Camp (EHC) for visually impaired adults who have other disabilities as well.

The Gills' desire to support the special needs session inspired Steve, a veteran Bay Area actor/singer and the founder of Menlo School's Fine Arts Program, to organize the first benefit concert for the LightHouse in 1999.

Previous concerts have raised over $133,000 in donations, which have allowed dozens of adults with multiple impairments to receive full or partial scholarships to attend Enchanted Hills Camp. Like Anne, they enjoy spending five days in the Napa Hills participating in activities like horseback riding, swimming and hiking with a remarkable, inspiring staff.

The proceeds of this year's concert will be used to help rebuild the many sections of the camp that were destroyed by the Napa wildfires of 2017.

A donation of $20 is requested. The seating will be first-come, first seated.

Menlo School is located at 50 Valparaiso Ave. in Atherton. For more information, phone Steve or Nancy Gill at (650) 948-4648 or email gillnancyg@gmail.com.

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