Schalmont Middle School Talent Show to Benefit the Vasculitis Foundation

Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Schalmont High School Auditorium
1 Sabre Drive, Schenectady, NY 12306-1981

Organizer:  Eileen Scheffer

The Schalmont Middle School Talent Show was already an institution when, in 2007, music teacher Eileen Scheffer turned it into a benefit event.

“The year after my son Dave was diagnosed with Wegener’s in 2007, I knew I had to do something to raise awareness for this disease,” she recalls. “The money raised [is] used for research to find a cure for the many vasculitis diseases.” The show raises between $1,500 and $2,000 annually for the Vasculitis Foundation, and Scheffer’s hoping to surpass that this year.

“Many at the school knew it was tough going for my son [but] knew nothing about the disease—they didn’t even know such a disease existed—so there was a lot learning going on,” she continues. After acts are chosen for the show, Scheffer explains why the even benefits the VF. “On occasion I get a student who has heard of the disease. It’s always amazing to me how interested they are to know more about the disease and what has happened and is happening with my son Dave.” Brochures are placed on the tables at the event, too.

The Talent Show gives Scheffer a way to pay back an organization that helped her and her family so much.

“The continued work of the VF is vital for future patients and their caregivers,” Scheffer notes. “Getting information out about this disease raises awareness and a cure will be found—but of course funding is vital and therefore any way to raise money for research is highly important. In my own small way this event provides for me an opportunity to educate people on this disease, entertain them, and also share the good news right now about Dave who is living with this disease and feeling just fine.”

Scheffer’s son is in complete remission. “Dave has had his ups and downs—many of his organs were involved and because of the amount of prednisone needed both his hips had to be replaced,” she explains. “But networking with the VF has really helped him and me through this whole experience.”