Adlai E. Stevenson High School’s Reflections Club, which promotes self-acceptance and acceptance of others while spreading positivity to the world, held its annual music cabaret fundraiser.
Reflections Cabaret Night 2017, benefiting The Trevor Project, took place on June 23 in the West Auditorium at the school in Lincolnshire, drawing a large Friday evening turnout.
“The purpose is to raise money for The Trevor Project and we choose it because Reflections club is a club for self-acceptance, acceptance of others and finding light in a dark place,” said Lauren Rawitz, Reflections club sponsor and guest director at the school.
“I love it,” Rawitz said, of the show in its third year.
“It’s my favorite thing in the world because there’s so much about life.
“This is a time to give back and recognize other people in need and it’s a chance for students to also learn the gift of giving,” Rawitz said.
Reflections Cabaret Night was poised to raise approximately $600, in line with donations last year.
With 24 performances, featuring approximately 50
performers in two acts with one intermission, the show was meant to help instill the message of celebrating diversity.
“It feels exhilarating,” said Mikey Barker of Long Grove, a 2014 Adlai E. Stevenson High School graduate, who sang “Defying Gravity” from the musical, “Wicked.”
Carolyn Pinta of Buffalo Grove, a 1996 Adlai E. Stevenson High School graduate and local middle school Spanish teacher, performed the solo, “Part of Your World” from “The Little Mermaid.”
Pinta said she felt, “overwhelmed with joy that Stevenson has this club and has a place for people to fit in, all types of people.”
Reflections club typically has about up to 35 members attending meetings.
“I think that the cause (The Trevor Project) that they’re raising money for tonight is so important and so wonderful,” Pinta said.
“I feel so lucky to get to be a part of it.”
The Trevor Project is a national mental health organization working to end suicide among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth, according to a brochure published by The Trevor Project.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and questioning youth are more likely to attempt suicide, according to The Trevor Project. Bullying into adulthood is an issue needing addressing.
“It (cabaret night) gathers a lot of people so that we can convey the message of The Trevor Project,” said Lydia Johnson, 17, a senior from Buffalo Grove and Reflections club co-president.
“This (LGBTQ) is a really big community and we have to be completely accepting and I’ve seen story after story of Facebook, of people coming out and sharing their stories.
“They used to be filled with complete loathing of themselves because they were part of the LGBTQ community and now through finding all of these people, they have found themselves,” Johnson said.
“And that’s what Trevor is really about, is helping to bring people into the future and not keep them in the past,” she said.
“It’s because of charities like The Trevor Project that people are able to find each other and connect and be able to accept themselves,” Johnson said.
How much of a privilege is it to be a part of Reflections club and the annual cabaret night?
“So much, it’s ridiculous,” said a smiling Jaclyn Rosenberg, 17, a senior also from Buffalo Grove and co-president of the Reflections executive board.
“Not a day goes by that I don’t thank the stars that I am here and where I am today,” Rosenberg said.
Rawitz said Adlai E. Stevenson High School, “is a wonderful place.
“I get the opportunity to work with so many students who have a passion at a young age to do something great and change the world,” Rawitz said.
“We need a change.
“We need big changes to happen right now,” Rawitz said.
“This generation is the generation to make that change happen.”
–Celebrating diversity: Stevenson High School’s Reflections Club event benefits Trevor Project–