Big night out – Village Theatre hosts benefit concert for Conner family

A group of generous musicians and performers will take to the stage of Issaquah's Village Theatre on Monday, Feb. 23, to raise money for a friend in need.

Holly Connor and her Dad

A group of generous musicians and performers will take to the stage of Issaquah’s Village Theatre on Monday, Feb. 23, to raise money for a friend in need.

Dan Connor is an actor and set designer who, through his work at the Village Theatre, has become well-known to the people of Issaquah.

In 2004 Dan and his wife Katie were blessed with a baby daughter, Holly.

However a few months after she was born, having shown little or no development of her visual capacity, Holly was diagnosed with Septo Optic Dysplasia (SOD) and Panhypopituitarism, the characteristics of which include visual impairments, hormone deficiencies and autistic behaviors.

Holly has little or no vision, though because of her age it is hard to accurately gauge the quality of her vision.

According to a web site set up by the Connor family, Holly has been in therapy since she was first diagnosed at four months.

She is learning how to use a cane and can recognize her name in Braille.

With very few options for treatment available in the United States, Holly’s parents had almost resigned themselves to a long and fruitless wait, though they spent many months exploring options, both here and abroad.

Stem cell treatment seemed to be the only option, though developments in that field were likely to be some way off.

The Connor finally kept searching for anything that could be done to restore their daughter’s vision, and in last year discovered a facility in Asia which has developed a stem cell treatment which is restoring sight to children with SOD.

The amazing news was soon tempered with the bad – the treatment costs $75,000, and is not covered by insurance.

Since that day the Connor family has launched a series of fundraising events, many of them supported by the Seattle arts and music communities in which they are so appreciated.

So far they have raised $44,000, and hope to raise the remaining $31,000 to make the trip to the Beike Biotech facility in Thailand later this year.

Some of Dan’s friends from the Village Theatre knew that the people of Issaquah could always be relied upon to help out a family in need, and organized what is sure to be a great night of music and theater, a benefit concert to help young Holly and the Conner family.

The evening will feature Arthur Allen, Krystle Armstrong, Britt Boyd, Dan Connor, Jadd Davis, Nick DeSantis, Beth DeVries, Caitlin Frances, Brooke Hills, Tiffany Jewell, Anne Kennedy, Bobbi Kotula, Rebekah Krupke, John Lowrie, Ashanti Mangum, Natalie Moe, Kasey Nusbickel, Mark Rabe, Jessica Skerritt, Dane Stokinger, Troy Wageman, Billie Wildrick, and Matt Wolfe, with a special post-show performance by Dan’s band BlindChild.

Entry is by donation, and an anonymous donor will match every dollar raised.

When: February 23rd, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Village Theatre Mainstage – 303 Front Street North, Issaquah.

No reservations needed.

For more info contact Matt Wolfe or Natalie Moe at Mattwolfe76@aol.com or nataliemoe@comcast.net.

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