Miracle in Rwanda Theater Production Raising Funds for St. Gerard Campus on Feb8 2010

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Jacksonville, FL – A fundraiser to help the St. Gerard Campus in St. Augustine, FL and unwed mothers in northeast Florida will be held on Saturday, March 6 at 8 pm with a theater production of “Miracle in Rwanda – A Story of Courage, Faith and Forgiveness”. The event will be held at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts, Terry Theater, 300 West Water Street in downtown Jacksonville, FL. Ticket prices are $75 per person; $35 for students. For ticket information, contact Terry Theater box office at 904.633.6110 or purchase online at Ticketmaster. For more information, contact Judy Klein at 904.219.2484.

“Miracle in Rwanda” is a one woman show and features Leslie Lewis Sword who brilliantly transforms herself into a host of characters to tell the powerful story of Rwandan genocide survivor Immaculée Ilibagiza, a real life messenger of hope.

Sword is a performer and writer who traveled to Rwanda with Immaculée to develop the unique piece of theater. The return of Immaculée to Rwanda was the subject of a “60 Minutes” television feature, bringing international attention to the story.

According to Sword, Immaculée’s family was brutally murdered during the three-month slaughter that began in April 1994. However, Immaculée managed to survive. For 91 days, she and seven other women huddled silently and cramped together in an undiscovered extra bathroom in a local pastor’s home. Immaculée’s terror escalated as hundreds of machete-wielding killers searched the house repeatedly for her without success, determined to find and butcher her. Ultimately, Immaculée moves beyond intense fear and rage, to find a deeper connection to God than she ever thought possible.

The story is crafted by Sword and the play’s co-creator Edward Vilga. The show features an uplifting message of forgiveness and compassion and chronicles the dramatic events through the interior life of Immaculée. The message is one of personal empowerment, of overcoming all obstacles through the power of faith, and ultimately finding peace of mind amidst unbelievable hardship and her ability to forgive.

The production premiered at TheatreZone in Naples, Florida along with a triumphant New York City run which inspired a world tour on five continents.

According to Marguerite Mumford, Paul Davis Restoration of North Florida owner, as part of St. Gerard’s ongoing fundraising campaign, the Paul Davis Restoration office in Jacksonville will donate $5,000 to underwrite the show production and to support St. Gerard Campus.

St. Gerard Campus, founded in 1981, is located at 1405 U.S. 1 South in St. Augustine, Fl. and provides an on-location high school, on-site day care, and a dormitory program for young, unwed pregnant women and mothers. The non-profit focuses on a three-step process of individualized, professional services for clients who qualify for the program. St. Gerard also provides free pregnancy testing, along with food and clothing for those in need. A 24-hour hot line, plus professional counseling is available for those who need spiritual, medical, or emotional advice. For more information, visit the website at www.stgerardcampus.org or call toll free 800.833.6073.

“We applaud those who support St. Gerard Campus and will continue to raise much needed funds for the teen moms have put forth the effort while they strive to turn their lives around. Upon graduation from the accredited on-campus high school, many of these young women will continue their education at local academic institutions,” said Mumford.

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