MCC News

Acting Students Donate Play Proceeds for HIV Awareness

Friday, February 01, 2013

The MCC Center for Theater, which staged The Laramie Project in November and December, has donated the proceeds from one of its performances to the Muskegon Coalition for HIV Awareness and Prevention (MCHAP).

“The Laramie Project is a play about the 1998 hate-crime killing, in Laramie, Wyoming, of Matthew Shepard, a young man who was murdered because he was homosexual.” said Sheila Wahamaki, MCC instructor and Director of Theater. “When I realized one of our performances fell on World AIDS Day and that the Muskegon Coalition of HIV Awareness and Prevention was planning a day of awareness I wanted our production to be a part of the event. I was delighted that the cast and crew came up with the idea of donating the proceeds from our performance to MCHAP.”

Approximately $300 from the Dec. 1 show was given to MCHAP. When asked about the donation, Phil McPherson, director of MCHAP, and pharmacist at Benson Drug Co. expressed his gratitude to the college, namely the theater department. “I was very pleased when I learned about the donation. I’m glad that we can continue educating and creating awareness. We were also very delighted to work with Sheila.”

Additional portions of the donation will also go toward helping patients with the disease with their co-pays and other medical expenses.

“We try to divide the funding we receive between education, prevention, and direct aid,” McPherson says, who urges community action on the disease. “We are a non-profit organization, so we’re always accepting donations and looking for volunteers willing to help bring awareness to the community.”

For more information on MCHAP, you may visit their Facebook page, and if you are interested in donating or volunteering, you may e-mail the organization at