This past October, The ESTA Foundation announced that Electronic Theatre Controls (ETC) issued a $50,000 Challenge Grant to benefit Behind the Scenes. During the three days at LDI in November, many of our colleagues answered the challenge by buying raffle tickets and holiday cards or playing poker, which helped raise close to $40,000, just $10,000 shy of ETC’s generous challenge.

If, as an industry, we can come together in three days and answer with $40,000 dollars, then surely by New Year’s Eve we can raise the remaining $10,000. During this season of hope, we know that our industry will not leave our colleagues in the dark.

Meeting the ETC $50,000 Challenge means that every dollar donated up to $50,000 will be matched by ETC, essentially doubling your donation! The $10,000 we hope to raise this holiday season will mean $20,000 goes to the worthwhile efforts of Behind the Scenes.

In announcing the ETC $50,000 Challenge Grant, CEO Fred Foster said, “Our industry runs on the flexibility, skills, and artistry of people who dedicate themselves to creating the magic of the theatre. Sadly, this means that many times an illness or crisis can catch one of us without the support of full benefits and insurance. The ESTA Foundation’s Behind the Scenes program provides a perfect way for us, as an industry, to provide a much needed backstop to this shortfall. ETC is proud to follow the path of other individual and corporate donors to support the Behind the Scenes effort. We hope that our donation will spur others to support this cause. If you haven’t contributed to Behind the Scenes, please take the challenge to do so now.”

Won’t you answer this appeal and donate today by going to www.estafoundation.org. Behind the Scenes Holiday Cards are also available for purchase online, with proceeds going to these final days of the ETC Challenge. Let the magic of this season offer the opportunity to support our colleagues who work to create “magic” all year round.

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. 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. For more information about Behind the Scenes, to donate, or to apply for a grant, visit www.estafoundation.org.