Why Broadway Impact, Specifically?

co-founders of Broadway Impact

Co-founders of Broadway Impact. Left to right: Rory O’Malley, Gavin Creel, Jenny Kanelos
(Photo Credit: BroadwayImpact.Com)

There are a number of organizations standing up for marriage equality. Why did I choose Broadway Impact, specifically?

I’ll start with how one of Broadway Impact’s founders affected my life.

Last year (June, 2011) I worked on Broadway Bares XXI – the 21st year of this huge, amazing, yearly charity event supporting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids.

I was honored to work on it two years in a row. My job last year was to take care of David Hyde Pierce. (I know, I’m so cool, right?)

(For anyone wondering, DHP is the lowest-maintenance, kindest, most lovely person I have ever had the joy of working with. I totally want to be like him when I grow up.)

Getting to why this matters, Rory O’Malley shared a dressing room with David Hyde Pierce. I talked to Rory a bit about Spelling Bee and other things. Rory is hilarious and lovely, and the kind of person you want to be friends with.

We became Facebook friends (and we have some mutual real-life friends). Rory became the person who encouraged me to get hands-on in the fight for marriage equality.

I remember when we (New Yorkers) were fighting to pass the Marriage Equality Act there. Through Rory, I heard about (and went to) a rally in Albany. There, I met a bunch of amazing people giving tons of time, energy, money – anything they could – to make sure we got Equality passed into law.

After the rally, I phone-banked (with someone I met on the bus). I made fun friends, and I added to the voices of people asking New Yorkers to stand up for what’s right.

(Not the bus/really I went on/to, but you get the idea.)
(Photo Credit: BroadwayImpact.com)

I was proud of myself (and everyone around me) that we were taking action!

I was happy to, for the first time in my life, be doing more than just saying “Yeah, I support that.”

Don’t get me wrong. Voicing your opinion is important. Social media is powerful Wearing buttons, stickers, and things, and being vocal is totally awesome. It is helpful. It’s way better than silence. And I would never want to put down anything anyone is doing in the fight for what they believe in.

But, this new adventure of doing even more than that was exhilarating. I was happy to feel that I was doing something tangible to facilitate change. I was a teeny itsy bitty bit part of a huge movement, but to know I was any part at all means a ton to me.

I will never forget watching the State Senate feed on June 24th with bated breath. That night, same-sex marriage in New York was signed into law. It was the greatest birthday/leaving New York present I could’ve asked for. While it was pretty devastating to be moving to California, I couldn’t have left on a higher note.

Getting back to Rory, I will always be thankful that I met him. He helped nudge me on a path to being a better, more proactive person. (I still have a long way to go, but I like to think I’m on the right path.)

It might be a little cliché to talk about someone “making me be a better me.” Plus, it’s a little silly, ‘cause I’m just some girl. I’m not Rory’s bff, or anything. But I found him inspiring, electric, excited, and he added to my life.

Rory being awesome.
(Photo Credit: BroadwayImpact.com)

I thought, “If this man is this awesome, impassioned, and uplifting; and he can get me off my butt, and on the phones, and at rallies, making noise for marriage equality – he is the type of person who should be co-heading up a charity. He can get people moving.”

I am really pleased to take part in his charity. I worked with one of the other co-founders – Jenny – on setting up my fundraising page. She’s absolutely lovely as well. I have yet to meet Gavin, but I’ve only heard amazing things about him.

I completely trust and look up to the co-founders of Broadway Impact, and I am totally honored to get to run for their charity.

Even if we put the people aside for a second, you can see some of the awesome work they’ve done (and continue to do) here.

If you’d like to give to my fundraising page, you can do that here.

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