The ESTA Foundation’s Behind The Scenes announces The Challenge Grant Program, an opportunity for donors to see contributions double in value while providing help to peers in their time of need. Established challenge grant slots are currently available for the Behind the Scenes / Long Reach Long Riders 2007 USITT Raffle, March 15 – 17 in Phoenix, Arizona (six openings) and The Long Reach Long Riders 2007 New England Charity Ride, July 29 – August 6 (two openings).

“Our industry’s history is full of strong partnerships that have led to technological advances, artistic reaches, and goals we continually strive to achieve,” says Behind the Scenes committee chair Rick Rudolph of the new initiative. “Many of these partnerships have also led to lasting friendships that are at the foundation of our industry. We hope that the relationships and partners we work with today will help us create some solid ground for what could be an uncertain future for our colleagues when they most need it.”

Sponsorship of these challenges gives companies or individuals the opportunity to show their support of their colleagues while offering a unique opportunity to be a recognized voice in our industry as a leading supporter of this worthwhile endeavor. When a company or individual agrees to sponsor a challenge grant, they not only make a significant donation to Behind the Scenes but they help double every dollar donated during that challenge. Every challenge grant sponsored and every challenge grant met increases the number of lives that Behind the Scenes can help put on solid ground.

Currently Behind the Scenes has sponsorship openings for six USITT Challenge grants at $5,000 each and two sponsorship openings for the Long Reach Long Riders at $10,000 each.

Of course, if a challenge grant is not an option, donations and corporate giving campaigns are always welcome.

Behind the Scenes provides financial assistance to entertainment technology professionals who are seriously ill or injured. Funds may be used for medical expenses, funeral expenses, or basic living expenses such as mortgage, rent, utilities, food, transportation, and childcare. Funds are available to anyone who has worked at least five years full time in the entertainment technology industry—whether they're on the road or in a rental shop; they're a TD or the head of R&D; they work in a theatre or on a cruise ship.