Dear Erica, Alstrom Family, Players and Friends,
APOLOGIES!! I am sorry to have been largely MIA since last Fall. As most know, Jan passed away back in September. Several months prior to her death, we lost her father, our beloved “Umpy.” Not long after Jan’s passing, our dog, “Maggie,” also moved on. Several very dear friends and near cousins also passed late in 2016 and in early 2017.
In April, I became aware that I seemed to be losing my own battle with dilated cardiomyopathy, a battle I have waged for 20 years. In early May I ended up in the ER with a heart rate of 30, which led to 10 days of incarceration in cardiac critical care. Along the way, I received a pacer/defibrillator implant, whom I have named “Albert” and, despite being a bit sore still, I am now thriving and feeling confident about being around for another 20 years.
Many, but certainly not all, of you are aware that for 35 years I, with Jan by my side, was the owner, manager, and producer of the Deck House Restaurant and Cabaret Theater, a largely summer seasonal enterprise that matched up well with my teaching career (Language Arts) and my early contributions to the Alstrom effort. The restaurant was staffed with young and very talented singers, dancers, and actors drawn initially from the talent pool here on Mt. Desert Island but later expanding to the whole country and, indeed, beyond to the world. Today, many of these actors have appeared on Broadway, sing with the Metropolitan Opera, or tour the world sharing their gifts. Those who attended the 2004 conference in Bar Harbor likely remember their visit to the Deck House, their time with the Players rehearsing “Across the Wide Oceans,” and their performance of some of that season’s material at the banquet
When Jan died, a number of these Players stepped up to the honor of performing at Jan’s memorial service in September, which coincided with the A-Team Retreat ASI hosted here in Maine at Camp Beech Cliff. It was so very fitting for the A-Teamers and some of their parents to have “front row” seats, and those in attendance became keenly aware that Jan had been a mother, a sister, and/or a friend to generations of her immediate family, her Deck House family, her Jackson Lab family, and, most especially, to her Alstrom Family.
As is common, many of these related branches of the family, could not attend, and one of my enterprising Players suggested the possibility of pursuing a reunion, for which Jan herself had advocated the past few years. Based on an enthusiastic response, the possibility and then the likelihood and then the reality of a Benefit Concert was born.
The Concert – In Honor of Jan D. Marshall to Benefit Alstrom Syndrome International – will be presented Monday, July 3 at Camp Beech Cliff at 7:00 PM.
The concert will be preceded by some hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar beginning at 5:30 PM which also affords time to peruse and place bids on a number of silent auction items. Tickets to attend are $25.00, all proceeds to benefit Alstrom Syndrome research efforts. As always, everyone should feel comfortable donating more, and, as usual, those in tough circumstances can attend for free. If you wish to contribute a silent auction item, you need to get it in the mail early this week. Send items to 14 Whitney Farm Road, Mt. Desert, ME 04660. If you cannot attend but wish to make a donation, you can use the options you will find on the Home Page at www.alstrom.org or send a check! USA donations are tax deductible!
HOPE TO SEE YOU AND LOVE TO ALL!