Tina Fey, Tituss Burgess, Kristin Chenoweth, Rachel Crow, Antwone Fisher, Sutton Foster, Megan Hilty, Janice Huff, Jane Krakowski, Alec Mapa, Andrea McArdle, Patina Miller, Rosie O’Donnell, Caroline Rhea, Charlene Tilton are among the names who will take the stage to support youth in foster care at a special benefit show, VOICES FOR THE VOICELESS: Stars For Foster Kids.
The event will take place on Monday, June 29th at 7PM at The St. James Theatre, 246 West 44thStreet.
This special event, presented by Seth Rudetsky/James Wesley and Beachbody.Com, brings together entertainment industry heavyweights united in raising awareness about the plight of kids in foster care, particularly those ages 10- 21 whom many consider “unadoptable” because of their age. All proceeds will go directly to two NYC agencies: You Gotta Believe, New York’s only nonprofit specifically focused on finding permanent families for youth in foster care aged 10 +, and the Council on Adoptable Children (COAC).
Every year, nearly 25,000 kids age out of foster care in the U.S., left on their own to make it into adulthood without the safety net of a forever family to provide the security and comfort most of us take for granted. Kids who age out of foster care without a family are 50% more likely to end up homeless or incarcerated.
In New York City, there are about 1,300 kids waiting to be adopted right now. There are an additional 700+ kids on the verge of aging out alone — many of whom were deemed ‘unadoptable’ by the system long ago. As each day goes by, they are one day closer to being pushed out onto their own without a family safety net unless an adoption takes place.
Mr. Wesley and Mr. Rudetsky were working with COAC to adopt a child out of foster care when COAC (and You Gotta Believe) had their funding cut. They developed this one-of-a-kind event to bring public awareness/support for foster kids who are seeking a forever family. Mr. Wesley said, “I’ve spent the last few weeks meeting with foster kids and their stories would break your heart. All these kids want are parents who love them. We are thrilled because this is the first event Broadway has ever done for foster kids and we’re overwhelmed with gratitude for these amazing stars who are completely donating their time to help these kids.” Mr. Rudetsky adds, “I wouldn’t be surprised if the audience is so moved by all of the amazing singers in the show that every single foster kid is adopted by the finale!”
The event will feature a 15-piece band onstage conducted by SiriusXM Broadway host Seth Rudetsky accompanying songs that range from Broadway to top 40 hits sung by Megan Hilty, Sutton Foster, Jane Krakowski and others; plus moving and/or hilarious testimony from Tina Fey, Rosie O’Donnell and much more! Some celebs featured in the show were foster kids themselves (Rachel Crow, Antwone Fisher, Charlene Tilton), adopted a child from foster care (Alec Mapa), or were themselves adopted (Kristin Chenoweth).
Susan Grundberg, executive director of You Gotta Believe, said, " We are absolutely delighted by the generosity of James Wesley and Seth Rudetsky and all the sponsors and stars who are putting together this event. We believe that every child, no matter the age, race, ability, or orientation has the right to a permanent family. And we won’t stop till every child in foster care leaves with a family that is there for them, unconditionally."
A young person whom YGB has worked with added, “You Gotta Believe provided me with hope at 19 years old that I could be loved and matched with someone who wouldn’t drop me at age 21. That is something no other agency has ever done. The others only constantly remind me of my age and my need to move fast because I will soon age out.”
Benefactors: Gretchen Beidl & Michael Willner and Discovery Communications.
Sponsors: Jujamcyn Theaters, Something Rotten!, Playbill, Inc., The Knickerbocker, Blue Fin, A+E Networks, Barbara Baekgaard & family, Ann Lessing Bresnan, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Cablevision Systems Corporation, Cyndx, LionTree, Rosie O’Donnell, The Shubert Organization, Time Warner Cable, Jonathan and Lizzie Tisch, Waller Capital Partners, Daryl Roth, and Burba Hayes.
For more information, please log onto www.yougottabelieve.org, and follow us at @AdoptOlderKids. #Stars4FosterKids