Guest Editorial: Going Virtual For A Good Cause

By Recker McDowell —

COVID-19 has decimated nonprofit and charity events and fundraising. Here is one chance to help one of the region’s leading performing arts groups.

Valley Youth Theatre (VYT) will hold an 8-hour virtual telethon on Saturday, August 22nd. The event replaces the theatre’s annual fundraising gala.

The virtual effort will be streamed on Facebook, YouTube and at

The goal is to raise $250,000 and will feature 132 former cast members from the Phoenix-based youth theatre.

Valley Youth Theatre and other arts groups have been hit hard by COVID-19. VYT had to cancel the last two shows of its 31st season and the first two shows of its new 32nd season.

The virtual telethon replaces VYT’s gala which was canceled because of COVID-19.

Phoenix-based Two Second Media — which is owned by VYT Parents Chris and Candace Weir — offered to produce the virtual telethon at no charge.

Local media personalities including Yetta Gibson, John Hook, Cory McClosky, and Brad Perry will help host the telethon. Some businesses are also stepping up as sponsors including Sanderson Lincoln, software firm Clairvoyant, Freeport-McMoRan, Valley Toyota Dealers and KPMG.

Valley Youth Theatre is not alone in facing the challenges of COVID. Scores of arts groups, nonprofits and worthy community causes across Arizona and country.

The situation is requiring creativity from nonprofits and other groups. Support from sponsors and backers and finding the best ways to leverage technology.

Some groups have the gravitas community followings and social media footprints to pull off streaming events better than others.

But the key is for these efforts to garner support. They need support from the business community and the community overall. Arts groups and other nonprofits are severely challenged by COVID. They need our support.