Debbie Knight and her friends in the local singing community not only know how to entertain crowds, but they can raise some serious money for charity at the same time.
In a series of musical shows over the last few years, the Pink Double D’s raised more than $100,000 for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a charity that promotes early detection and research for breast cancer.
The Double D’s feature female “Divas” and male “Divos” in concert separately or together, usually at La Casa Di Lucia, a Somerton bar/restaurant. The women’s theme was “Proud and Pink,” while the guys proclaimed “Real Men Do Wear Pink.” There are more than 50 singers in all.
One highlight was an appearance by Bobby Rydell, who sang a half-dozen songs during a June 2009 salute to American Bandstand at Keenan’s Valley View Inn in Roxborough.
The concerts were for the benefit of all women with breast cancer, including Edie Verna, a survivor who was given pink boxing gloves for her fight against the disease. She remains a Diva.
“She was our inspiration,” Knight said. “It gave us such a great feeling.”
By the end of 2010, the entertainers decided to use their talents to raise money for other charities. Last December, at a concert at La Casa Di Lucia, the beneficiary was Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In April, a beef-and-beer fund-raiser benefited a woman with cancer.
Now, the newly formed Showtime Charities Inc. is preparing for its first big fund-raiser. The first Shotz for Tots golf outing will take place Monday, July 25, at Torresdale-Frankford Country Club, at 3801 Grant Ave.
The golf outing is being held to honor and carry on the charitable work of attorney Gerard P. Shotzbarger, who died in February. A Cardinal Dougherty High School graduate and Somerton resident, he served as a city jury commissioner and was just 54 when he died of a heart attack. He was a La Casa Di Lucia patron, a Torresdale-Frankford Country Club member and popular all-around figure.
“He was everybody’s friend,” Knight said. “He was just loved by so many people. He gave so much to so many charities.”
The cost is $175 per golfer and includes cart, green fees, use of a locker room, barbecue lunch, refreshments, a cocktail hour, buffet dinner, door prizes and entertainment. Registration begins at 11 a.m., followed by a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m. Non-golfers can sign up for $40.
Sponsors will have their signs placed at the holes or on the course, and cash and prize donations are being accepted.
Money raised that day will go to two of Shotzbarger’s favorite charities — the Officer Danny Boyle Scholarship Fund and the Amigos de Jesus Orphanage in Malvern.
Knight, president of the charity, said her group is happy to help children.
“We love kids,” she said.
Showtime Charities, whose logo is a top hat and cane with the letters “DD” on the hat, has also scheduled an Aug. 15 Divos show at La Casa Di Lucia, at 14425 Bustleton Ave. The men will pay tribute to an original Divo, Frank Drake, who died last month. Drake liked to sing Frank Sinatra music, and his former fellow Divos will follow a Rat Pack theme. Proceeds from the concert will go to the fight against prostate cancer.
“It’s a nice idea that the Divos dedicated the show to him,” Knight said.
On Oct. 10, the Divas will perform at La Casa Di Lucia, with proceeds going to a breast cancer charity. As for 2012 and beyond, Showtime Charities is eyeing a Monte Carlo night, a comedy show and a mystery dinner-theater program.
“We’re so fortunate. Everybody is committed and passionate about raising money for great causes,” Knight said.
Everyone from the golf outing organizers to the entertainers to the videographer to the lawyer who set up the charity is serving as a volunteer.
“It’s amazing how generous people are,” Knight said. “Nobody is asking for one nickel.” ••
Reporter Tom Waring can be reached at 215-354-3034 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Get involved …
Donations can be sent to Showtime Charities Golf Outing, c/o Sonny Sylvester, Co-Chairman, P.O. Box 66, Croydon, PA 19021.
To register for the golf outing or for more information, call Debbie Knight at 215-512-0992, Terry Fenningham at 215-499-3652 or Sonny Sylvester at 215-669-4963, or visit www.showtimecharities.org