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    Posted July 19, 2012

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VITA Kicks Off Capital Campaign with $10K Donation from AEA Member Delroy Lindo in Honor of VITA Co-Founder Conard Fowkes

Donation in Memory of one of VITA’s Founders Recognizes Free Assistance VITA provides to theatrical industry professionals

Delroy Lindo donates $10,000 to the VITA Program of AEA & SAG-AFTRA in New York in memory of the late Conard Fowkes, one of the program’s founders, and in recognition of the free assistance VITA provides to theatrical industry professionals.

Just when the volunteers thought they had everything under control at VITA this year, their printers started to act up and, as a result, VITA was down one desk all season. A second station is out of commission now and, without new equipment, the 2013 season would probably not open on time – or with any hope of providing the usual free service to members of AEA and SAG-AFTRA.

Along came Delroy Lindo who sought out Equity’s Secretary-Treasurer and Director of the NY VITA Program, Sandra Karas, to see if there was some way in which he could give back to the program that had helped him “back in the day” when he was making inroads as an actor in New York. Karas said there was a project coming up that would benefit greatly from his help and Mr. Lindo pledged $10,000 to support the volunteer tax program and the memory of his friend, Conard Fowkes, who had prepared his taxes for so many years.

The project includes computers, printers and upgraded software for the entire VITA office. Every station will have new, updated equipment, making the tax preparation easier and more efficient for volunteers and members alike. The total cost is $17,603.99. With Lindo’s generous gift, the program needs only $7,604 to complete the purchase. Equity’s IT department will install the units for each station and the expectation is that this new equipment should serve VITA for several years.

Karas expressed VITA’s deep gratitude to Delroy Lindo, without whose help this project might not have been realized and pledged to continue to provide the VITA services as long as possible to our union members, especially those who need some extra help or are struggling to make ends meet.

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