The annual NF Hope Concerts, scheduled for March 29 in Chicago and May 4 in New York City, have been canceled due to the dangers of the COVID-19 health crisis, but the Neurofibromatosis Network has announced that its fundraising efforts—and the performances typically offered to boost them—will be broadcast via Facebook and YouTube May 4 at 7PM ET.
Tony Award winner James Monroe Iglehart (Aladdin), recording artist Debbie Gibson (Cabaret), Grammy winner Dave Koz, Jessy Schram (Chicago Med), Mackenzie Bell (Summer), Erich Bergen (Waitress), Travis Cloer (Jersey Boys), Ben Hale (Million Dollar Quartet), Kristen Hertzenberg (The Phantom of the Opera in Las Vegas), Ruby Lewis (Paramour), Deven May (Jersey Boys), Jasmine Trias (American Idol), and Quinn VanAntwerp (Jersey Boys) will all perform; stage and screen star Gillian Anderson (the West End's recent All About Eve) will also make a special appearance.
SpringWorks Therapeutics and Tito’s Handmade Vodka, which had signed on as sponsors for the live events, will now sponsor the online campaign. Visit NFHope.GiveSmart.com to donate.
“Our challenge now, beyond helping our families navigate this unprecedented pandemic, is to recover from the loss of this invaluable fundraising event,” says benefit organizer Jeff Leibow—also a Jersey Boys alum. “In total, the cancellation of Chicago’s 3rd Annual NF Hope Concert and NYC’s 4th Annual NF Hope Concert represents nearly $75,000 in lost income. For a grass roots organization, this is devastating, so, we are asking for the public’s help.”
Leibow became aware of neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder of the nervous system characterized by tumors that can grow on any nerve in the body without warning, when his daughter was diagnosed at the age of nine months. He and his wife leapt to action to help their daughter and over 100,000 others diagnosed with the condition. The inaugural NF Hope Concert took place in 2011; since then, the concerts have raised over $850,000.
Patrons who purchased tickets to the Chicago concert will receive a refund. Questions can be directed to the Neurofibromatosis Network at firstname.lastname@example.org.