ashland.news
July 18, 2024

Stars from Broadway and the Rogue Valley come out to shine for Ukraine

Ashland High School grad Steffanie Leigh, seen in her Broadway role as Liane d'Exelmans in "Gigi," will take part in a fundraiser for Ashland's Ukrainian sister city on Dec. 10. Courtesy photo
November 28, 2023

Dec. 10 fundraiser to raise money for the relief of an Ashland Sister City.

Broadway singing star Steffanie Garrard Leigh will be joined by Rogue Valley musicians, including other singers, during a gala fundraiser to help rebuild and restore Ashland’s Ukrainian “sister city” Sviatohirsk from 2:30 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10, at the Historic Ashland Armory. 

Tickets, $20, are available at asap.booktix.com, at Paddington Station in downtown Ashland, or at the door. Group sales are also available by calling Jim Nagel at 541-890-2567. 

Leigh, a graduate of Ashland High School and former Rogue Valley resident, attended Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in acting and musical theater. 

In 2011, she starred as Mary Poppins in the Disney Broadway musical, receiving rave reviews and launching her into further roles on stage and in film. Her stage credits include “Venus in Fur” at the Singapore Repertory Theatre, “Gods of Comedy” at the Old Globe in London, and “Passion” at the Signature Theatre, a Tony Award-winning theater in Arlington, Virginia.

“Passion” is a one-act Stephen Sondheim musical, adapted from Ettore Scola’s 1981 film set in 19th-century Italy. Leigh won a Helen Hayes Award nomination for her portrayal of Clara in the musical.

An 81-second video about hardship in Sviatohirsk in the Donetsk region of Ukraine.

Also performing that night will be:

  • The Ashland Peace Choir with the Ashland High School Choir
  • The Ukrainian Folk Troupe 
  • The Ukrainian Dancers
  • Iryna Kudielina, award-winning concert pianist and student of Southern Oregon University professor Dr. Alexander Tutunov
  • Kris Yenney, cellist, composer, and conductor.

More info
For a short YouTube video on the plight of people in Sviatohirsk, click here 
For more information about the Ashland-Sviatohirsk Aid Project, to to its website at asapashland.org

There will also be brief reports from volunteers who have worked in relief roles in Ukraine and information about relief and recovery efforts sponsored by the Ashland-Sviatohirsk Aid Project (ASAP).

 A silent and live auction will be held as part of the fundraising effort. 

 Admission includes appetizers and desserts, and an open, no-host bar with beer and wine. 

 In 2022, more than 70% of Sviatohirsk was destroyed by Russia’s war against Ukraine, which displaced the majority of the city’s population. 

ASAP works to raise money from local U.S. sources to help Sviatohirsk residents rebuild their city and restore its livability during an on-going war. No municipal funds are spent in the effort. Money is raised from donations during fundraisers like the one Dec. 10, among other volunteer efforts.

Some of the “big ticket” items that would be funded by ASAP include purchase of construction equipment such as boom truck and excavator to help restore power lines and remove trash. 

Source: News release from the Ashland-Sviatohirsk Aid Project. Email Ashland.news at news@ashland.news.

Picture of Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.

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