Mazzoni Center Honors Raises Both Spirits and Funds

Mazzoni Center Honors Raises Both Spirits and Funds

Prior to two weeks ago, the most watched Mazzoni Center video on YouTube posted eight years ago, had 1,900 views. Today, a video of Alex Newell’s performance of the song “Meadowlark” from the November 13 Mazzoni Center Honors benefit already has over 20,000 views.

The ripples of energy from the inaugural Mazzoni Center Honors event, which this year honored legendary Broadway composer Stephen Schwartz, have indeed spread not only through Philadelphia but throughout the country, generating interest, excitement, and, most importantly, increased support.

The evening, hosted by Soledad O’Brien, featured Oscar, Grammy, Emmy, Tony, Peabody, and Pulitzer Prize winners, along with local choirs from Temple, UArts, and St. Marks Church and the Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus, all on stage to honor the music and life of Stephen Schwartz and support the work of Mazzoni Center.

The Delco Times, referring to the event’s high-energy finale, which included all four of Philadelphia’s legendary sports mascots, wrote “That finale with Dee Dee Sharp was the culmination of a great concert that showed the Mazzoni Center’s talent for planning, producing, and promotion while presenting some of the best Broadway talent of the day.”

Perhaps the most important element of the evening came in the introduction of Philadelphia Flyers’ anthem singer Lauren Hart’s performance of “When You Believe” from The Prince of Egypt when Mazzoni Center Board Chair Dr. Jeffrey Doucette announced a special Health Equity Fund Challenge aimed at supporting the Center’s commitment to never turn away any patient due to lack of financial resources. A special anonymous $25,000 challenge match was announced, hoping to raise an additional $25,000 that evening. The goal has already been far surpassed, but with needs of over $1 million, funds are still being raised for this vital effort. Contributions to the Health Equity Fund Challenge can still be made by clicking here.

With the inaugural Mazzoni Center Honors event a major success, Executive Development & Communications Officer, David Weisberg, said plans are already underway for a sequel next year, with an announcement hoped to come in the spring of 2024