We go through life, and it can be a wonderful journey if we take in the sights. Sometimes we are in such a hurry to reach our destination we don’t notice things along the way. A hectic life is like that.
My curiosity often gets the best of me, and it’s the journey, not the travel.
I’ve spent the majority of my life in and around the allied fields of entertainment. It’s an industry that moves the needle. I like that. When in reflection or in Bible Study, my mind does a 360⁰ and I seek the lesson, not so much the story. How can I use or learn from this? What’s my takeaway? Not the meaning in life’s cliches.
God puts the pieces together. We know this, but are we aware of it while it’s happening?
Our cover feature “BRANSON CARES” is about motivation. It’s about encouragement. It’s about engagement. For the past fifty years I’ve loved being in and around the Arts and Entertainment world; it’s the creative “can do” where people constantly create music, plays and movies.
I get it and I relate to it. It’s a beautiful thing when you have a vision and can see a finish line. In 1981 one of my best friends and mentors at that time was theatrical producer Zev Buffman. Zev was producer at the Parker Playhouse and was 10 years deep into getting the Broward Center built before they actually broke ground. Zev was a visionary and the actual creator of what is now called Broadway Across America and founder/owner of the Miami Heat in the National Basketball Association.
I met Hollywood movie star Elizabeth Taylor, who was just cast by Buffman to play the Parker and star in “The Little Foxes” prior to her NY Broadway debut. Now I could dispense with all the name dropping, but by eliminating that, it would suggest that this story is about something I did and not what I learned from others and how God used me to put some of the pieces together.
Between 1981 and 1984 Miss Taylor’s follow up to Foxes was to again star on Broadway with Richard Burton in “Private Lives” another Buffman Production. Miss Taylor had enormous empathy for what was totally devastating Hollywood and Broadway at that time and that was HIV/AIDS. Taylor founded amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research. Taylor’s huge unparalleled star power helped morph what later became the seed for “Broadway Cares.” I was there. I watched. I interjected through my publishing endeavors at PLAYBILL®️, and we all learned together when an industry, in this case a village pulls together without ego of authorship and digs in.
Please read the cover story by Good News Editor Shelly Pond on pages 28-29. I’m simply a vessel who recognized an extraordinary Village called Branson, Missouri, where you’re likely to see more white church vans than passenger cars loaded with God’s finest coming in from seven surrounding states, for a few days of Gospel and Country Music. That I first discovered in 1995, when Theater owners invited me in and wanted a PLAYBILL program for Branson.
I get Theater people, I like Theater people, and I embraced Theater people.
God found the right time to inspire me to engage, and that chapter is currently being written as an entire city is passionately embracing BRANSON CARES to provide for Hope Haven International, a Global Wheelchair Ministry providing pediatric wheelchairs for children with severe disabilities. BransonCares.com
Let this be a moment to observe how a city inspired can do wonderful things together.
Motivate. Inspire. Engage.
We are alive, we are blessed.
For more stories like this, visit https://www.goodnewsfl.org/