Gala for a Cure – a Youth Initiative
By Stephen Zhang, Founder and CEO of Youth Creates LLC
The first annual Youth Creates Gala for a Cure fundraising event, in support of Cancer League of Colorado, was hosted at the Englewood High School auditorium on August 10th. This feast of talent and art was engaging and exhilarating, entertaining hundreds of audience members and raising over $8,000 for the cause of fighting cancer. The summer-long meticulous organization and cooperation among the Youth Creates team members, ranging from elementary kids to college students, and their supporters came to beautiful fruition.
Professional performers and award-winning youth exhibited their unique talents at the Gala for a Cure event. With the thunderous drums and the clash of the cymbals, the energetic and festive lion dance team started the event. Jumping, rolling, stacking, the performers captivated the audience with amazing agility and coordination. Ventriloquist Wayne Francis, capable of a wide variety of voices without moving his lips, coordinated impeccably with his puppet, Wingnut. Their unique version of the national anthem was full with love and passion.
Stephen Zhang, founder and CEO of Youth Creates, is committed to the cause of fighting cancer.
Our 17-year-old magician Alec Mueller masterfully applied mentalism and magic to successfully influence a volunteer to draw the exact picture he had in mind without specific instructions. Our hypnotist, Tracy Gray, fascinated the audience by making a volunteer completely forget his name. The string trio, famous singer John Redmon, the Young Voices of Colorado team, and the meistersingers mesmerized the audience with their heavenly melody and grace. In all performances, the fascinated audience members fervently raised their hands for every onstage volunteering opportunity.
The greater mission, though, is much more than the moments of enjoyment. Former Representative Robert Bowen and Douglas County Kevin Leung shared emotional stories of their loved ones’ battle with cancer. Former Congressman Mike Coffman, District Attorney George Brauchler, Representative Kim Ransom, and other honorable guests of the event, highly commended this youth initiative and humanitarian cause of fighting cancer. Cancer League Executive Board members, Suzanne Alliano-Rossik and Barbara Reece, sincerely expressed their gratitude for the youth’s courage and drive to pick the fight. Our young, talented magician Alec Mueller exclaimed as he walked in, “I’m so happy to be part of the cause and perform today!” Some sponsors informed the Youth Creates team right after the event, “We will be donating money to your Gala next year as well.” Cancer is no stranger to me either. My late grandfather died from cancer before I was able to personally meet him. By funding cancer research, I know that my grandfather is proud and thankful.
While the event has come to an end, the Youth Creates team vows to persist in the efforts of working with Cancer League of Colorado to fund innovative cancer research. The annual Youth Creates Gala for a Cure event will continue to make a significant impact on the fight against cancer while bringing the community together for a fun and family friendly occasion. As the Principal of Cherry Creek High School states it, “There will be a cure one day… This is yet another evidence at how powerful our youth are”.