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Make Belive on Broadway 13th Annual Gala

by Photo of Pamela Zambrano

Christopher Meloni hosted the red carpet event at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater Monday night.

Only Make Believe celebrated their 13th annual Gala “Make Believe on Broadway” this past November 5 at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater in New York City. The event was held not only to showcase all the work that Only Make Believe has done throughout the year but also to honor three outstanding people with special awards. The recipients were actor Sir Ian McKellen, supermodel Petra Nemcova, and Chief Information Officer for JP Morgan Chase Guy Chiarello. The evening was hosted by Christopher Meloni and featured performances from many talented actors/singers, including Broadway Kids Care, the NYC Gay Mens Chorus, the Jersey Boys, Ashley Brown and Kerry Butler. Several Broadway stars were in attendance.

Only Make Believe is a non-profit organization that creates and performs life interactive theater alongside children with chronic illness or disabilities. Through the OMB program, professional actors are sent to various hospitals and care facilities for six week series. During that time OMB actors interact with the children and encourage them to play roles in the plays. All the children get to be a part of the storytelling process in some way. They all get to use the art of make believe to explore their imagination, express themselves and have some fun. OMB has been having a lot of positive results at the places that they have been visiting and are working hard to expand to more places across the country. This year they started a program in D.C. and have obtained support from large corporations including Disney, IBM and JP Morgan Chase.

Sir Ian McKellen has been one of the biggest supporters of OMB since it was first created and promised that he will be at next year’s Gala. Among the many reasons that he was chosen for an award was all the work that he has done lobbying for gay equality and helping homeless people in the U.K. He has been a patron to several charitable organizations including Step Forward.

Guy Chiarello has been recognized for his work in influencing and investing in several innovative technological projects. Among his philanthropic causes are the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Central New Jersey where he serves as an Executive Board Leader.

OMB chose to recognize Petra Nemcova for all her remarkable work in helping children in areas that have been affected by natural disasters. She is the founder of Happy Hearts Funds which is an organization that has built or restored many schools in several countries including Haiti, Thailand and Chile. During the OMB Gala, she and Christopher Meloni created a funny moment where she challenged him to put on a pair of high heels and do a catwalk.

Overall the OMB Gala was a success. They demonstrated well how they managed to affect so many kids through their program. Seeing OMB in action will definitely inspire a lot of talented actors to try to help them with their goals. For more information about OMB please visit www.onlymakebelive.org.

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