Taking to the stage to make a difference - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Taking to the stage to make a difference

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The Tuttle Middle School Drama Club has never met Patrick and Jessica Downes but after hearing the couples's story the kids knew they had to help.

Bright lights and bold music and a talented cast are bringing the Tuttle Middle School's performance of Fiddler on the Roof to life.

"The energy is really good." said Emma Jarvis, she is playing the role of 'Golda'.

Jack Lyons, whom plays 'Rabbi' comments, "The music is great it's got a lot of big numbers but it also has a loft of soft slow numbers."

"It's a really fun group of people." adds Jarvis.

But it's the lives of two honorary cast members that made Saturday's matinee extra special.

Peter Lumholdt plays 'Tevia', he said, "I do know they have quite the tragic story and I know they were both very charismatic and loved."

"I just think it is crazy because they seem like such a perfect couple just living their lives." said Jarvis.

That perfect couple is Patrick and Jessica Downes. The newlyweds from Boston were both badly injured in the Boston Marathon Bombings. Each lost their left legs and are still in the hospital.

"For two people just starting out newlyweds to go through a tragedy like that is horrible." said Lyons.

When these young actors heard their story they were eager to step up and help.

"We wanted to step up and help, we wanted to be more than a middle school production that does a couple of shows and that's it." adds Lyons.

The South Burlington students voted unanimously to add this show to their schedule--with all the proceeds going to help the injured couple they'd never met.

"It is crazy how many people in this community have connections to this couple and if this sort of thing were to happen to me I would love it if people were to step up and help." said Jarvis.

While the Tuttle kids have never met the Downes... the couple has strong ties to the school. The school's special education teacher and incoming Vice Principal both went to college with Patrick.

Tuttle Middle School teacher Corey McKenzie describes, "He's charismatic, he's handsome, he's funny, he's just all around a great guy."

Paul Yoon, incoming Vice Principal, said, "I just think that everyone that knows him speaks about his heart and being just a genuinely good man."

And these educators agree their students are genuinely good kids that are learning important lessons at a young age.

"It doesn't matter where you are or who you are that you hear of people in need you can do something." said McKenzie.

Something that for these kids is raising spirits from the stage and funds for Patrick and Jessica Downes- a couple these actors agree have a bright second act ahead.

"There is a great photo of them that shows the couple walking across the Boston Parks and suck and I really hope they can do that again." said Lumholdt.

"I hope that they are really happy and that they will be able to look past this sort of obstacle and that they can live long happy lives." adds Jarvis.

For more information on Patrick and Jessica's Story - click this link : https://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/ygf1/helpforpatandjess?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=graph&utm_campaign=vanity_page


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