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USITT President Sylvia Pannell, right, helps draw the winner for the Behind the Scenes raffle at the 2008 USITT Conference.

Photo/Tom Thatcher


Supporters Step Up for
Behind the Scenes at USITT

The Long Reach Long Riders (LRLR) and the ESTA Foundation announced the results of their joint raffle to benefit the Behind the Scenes program which was held at the USITT Annual Conference & Stage Expo in Houston, Texas.

A total of $8,364 was raised during the Conference, which added to the Challenge Grants from Bigger Hammer Productions, Sapsis Rigging, and Strong Entertainment Lighting the totaled $18,364.

The winners and their prizes are:

  • Lori Baruch -- Altman Ghostlight and Barbizon Gift Certificate
  • Pete Happe -- Utah Shakespearean Festival package
  • Patricia Helsel -- D&D Software Company's LD Assistant 04
  • Pat Immel -- Field Template's SoftSymbols and Field Templates
  • Krystal Kennel -- Live Design's Broadway Master Classes
  • Jon Lagerquist -- Nolan Engineering Services' Structural Master Class
  • Nathan Lee -- Vectorworks' Spotlight with Renderworks
  • Michael Messer -- Le Maitre's Radiance Hazer
  • Mark O'Brien -- Sapsis Rigging's Safety Seminar with Bill Sapsis
  • Amy Radebaugh -- City Theatrical's Lightwright
  • Steve Reese -- USITT 2009 Conference Registration

The traditional pre-raffle kazoo parade kicked off the festivities on Saturday afternoon which were emceed by Mr. Sapsis, one of the founding Long Reach Long Riders. He invited a series of special guests to pull the winning raffle tickets including USITT President Sylvia Hillyard Pannell; Rich Wolpert, who had just completed a 754 mile bicycle ride in support of Behind the Scenes; and Michelle Kokal, who had just presented a $1,000 check on behalf of the USITT Student Chapter at Penn State University.

All proceeds of the raffle go directly to the ESTA Foundation's Behind the Scenes program which provides entertainment technology industry members with grants for emergency situations such as serious illness, injury, or death. To donate, or to apply for a grant, visit For more information about the Long Reach Long Riders whose 2008 ride runs May 12 to 18, visit

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