Thursday, January 5, 2017

#Hangaheart Kids Give Back.

Neema Bahrami who was the event organizer at Pulse, survived the horrific night of June 12th. The next day, he found a colorful felt heart taped to his apartment door. It said, "Love is free, hugs are free, we all love you." The heart was created by there children in his building, Gavin, Victoria, and Jacquelyn. Because of this sign of hope Neema decided to create the Hang a Heart Foundation, which promotes love regardless of religion, race or gender. He feels that, if any good came from that horrible night, it is that people are learning to accept the gay community. It has opened peoples hearts.

Hang-A- Heart, Inc. is in the last stages of becoming a 501c3 charity, and will be working to provide an outlet for children and adults alike to talk about love and acceptance, while creating the same felt hearts that started the movement. The Venue (511 Virginia Dr, Orlando, FL 32803) hosted an evening fundraiser with a night of children sharing their talents on stage. Every seat in the theater had a free felt heart on it. Everyone was asked to hang it where they will be reminded, and others encouraged by hope and kindness when they see it. The tag on mine said, "Be Awesome!"

The evening featured 18 fun and inspired performances. My favorite performance was a lovely duet by Maddie Mayer and Maddy Montz. They sang "For Good" from Wicked. Some people enter your life and inspire you for the better. Yet, people grow apart, and some friendships go unmended. The song hit me hard. The start of a New Year brings regrets. Neema was with a friend at the table next to mine. His friend was in tears and then laughed fanning himself. He was delighted with the emotions that flooded the Venue. I wasn't alone in shedding a tear.

Another notable performance was "Hard to be a Bard" by Anthony Morehead. There was something so endearing about a young teen concerned about the difficulties of being a creative genius. Anthony's comic timing was spot on.  On a darker note, Lauren Luteran danced a choreographed piece titled "Void".  The room turned dark blue and the spotlight illuminated her a flaming orange. Her movements were staccato and hard edged. She exhaled violently striking poses that reached for the unattainable. The striking performance best expressed the incredibly hard and emotional days following the Pulse shooting. Sydney Burtis countered with a rhythmic and fun tap dance routine set to, "Just Forget the World." Her feet kept the beat and then tapped with counter beats so fast it became a blur of motion. She beamed as she pushed herself to give her best.

Talents varied, but is so refreshing seeing young performers take to the stage and give their all. "Where there's children there's light. Where there's light, there's hope." 

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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