Meg Boeni Receives Second Annual Casey Feldman Foundation Cappies Scholarship

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

By Dianne L. Anderson

R to L: Scholarship recipient Meg Boeni, SHS Teacher & Theater Director, John Gildea and Chris Price, 2011 Casey Feldman Recipient

Meg Boeni of Unionville High School in Chester County, PA was awarded the 2012 second annual Casey Feldman Foundation Cappies scholarship at the Seventh Annual Greater Philadelphia Critics and Awards Program for High School Students, commonly known as the Cappies.

The Cappies is an international program through which high school theater and journalism students are trained as critics, attend theatrical productions and musicals at other high schools, write reviews of the shows and publish those reviews in local newspapers. Students vote on the winners, who are announced at the Cappies Gala, which is patterned after Broadway’s Tony Awards program.

Production numbers and dramatic scenes are performed, interspersed this year with 42 Cappies presentations made by teachers, principals, superintendents and others from high schools in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey at the Greater Philadelphia  Cappies Gala.  The Greater Philadelphia Cappies, with 34 participating high schools in the region, is second in size only to the program in Washington, D.C., where the Cappies started in 1999.

SHS student Cappies winners, Bridget Elise Yingling - Best Featured Actress in a Play and James Cella -Senior Male Critic Award

In 2005, The Greater Philadelphia chapter was established and Casey became the first lead critic from Springfield High School (SHS). Casey acted in 6 theatrical productions during her high school years and was nominated for a Cappie herself at the 2006 Gala. Casey played Gwendolyn Pidgeon in the Odd Couple and accepted the 2006 Cappie on behalf of the entire SHS cast that year for Best Play. In 2010, Casey was awarded an Honorary Cappie, which was accepted by her parents at the Gala that year.

Casey’s Springfield  High School theater director and teacher, John Gildea, nominated Meg Boeni this year to receive the Casey Feldman scholarship and presented the award at the Gala. In nominating Ms. Boeni, Mr. Gildea pointed out that Meg has  starred in musicals and plays at her school, has been a nominee for Undergraduate Female Critic, a recipient of the Comic Actress in a Play Cappie Award, and director of her school’s May Play Society; she has participated in the Walnut Street Theatre student-writing program, has taken a dual enrollment course at Immaculata College, in addition to an online course to learn Arabic at BYU in an effort to further  her journalism repertoire. All of this was accomplished while maintaining a 4.19 GPA in high school.

Casey Feldman and Matt Thornton arriving at the 2006 Cappies Gala

In presenting the award, Mr. Gildea stated,

“However, her most important trait is that of community service, which is exactly what Casey excelled in during her lifetime. Tonight’s recipient is heavily involved in her church’s Migrant Ministry, in particular the Ignited Youth Program which sponsors the Bilingual Puppet Ministry. In this program, tonight’s recipient does outreach to the migrant and elementary communities, teaching the stories of the Bible as well as lessons on bullying and other important life lessons, using both her Spanish and English skills. She also involves herself in Good Neighbors Projects, the Girls Scouts, her school’s National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society to conduct community-service oriented projects.”

Meg was surprised, grateful and humbled to receive the Casey Feldman Cappies Scholarship which is being put to good use at Boston University, where Meg is now enrolled as a freshman majoring in journalism.

Congratuations Meg!

Contribute to the Casey Feldman Foundation so that additional deserving students may receive scholarship opportunities.

 

Related Links:

YouTube Video – Greater Philadelphia Cappies 2012 Nominations

Greater Philadelphia Cappies

“High school stage stars honored at Cappies Gala”, The Daily Times

“Chris Price Receives First Casey Feldman Foundation Cappies Scholarship Award”,  Casey Feldman Foundation News & Updates

“Casey Feldman Awarded an Honory Cappie; SHS Laramie Project Cast Wins Awards at the Cappies”, Casey Feldman Foundation News & Updates

  Photos of Casey’s high school performances and the 2006 Cappies

“SHS theater family remembers beloved actress”, The News of Delaware County

 

Distracted Driving Presentation Taken to Springfield High School

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

By Dianne L. Anderson

Bridget Clawson urging Mrs. Boeni to put down her cell phone

In a continuing effort to take the message of the dangers of distracted driving to students across the nation, Joel Feldman and Dianne Anderson spoke to students at Casey Feldman’s high school alma mater before school recessed for the summer. The presentation was introduced by Springfield High School (SHS ) SADD officer, Amrita Famachandran.

In the interactive presentation, students were made aware of the fact that distracted driving does not just involve cell phone use.  Putting on makeup, changing a CD, eating, reaching for drinks or items in the car, taking your hands off of the wheel for any reason and simply taking your eyes and mind off of the primary task of driving, are all distractions that can result in deadly consequences.  Students also saw firsthand, the negative cognitive impact of simply trying to carry on a cell phone conversation while driving. Many were surprised that having a cell phone conversation while driving is the cognitive equivalent to a blood alcohol limit of .08, or driving under the influence.   Students also participated in role playing to become comfortable as passengers asking a distracted driver to stop their distraction, be it putting down a cell phone or a drink.

SHS students,L to R: Paige Klaniecki, James Cella, Bridget Yingling, Hanna Feehery, Monica Fischer

Acknowledging that distracted driving is not simply a teen problem, students took home forms to be signed by them and their parents, agreeing to eliminate various distractions while behind the wheel.

To bring the message close to home, students also viewed the “Faces of Distracted Driving – Casey Feldman” video prepared for the U. S. Department of Transportation by Joel Feldman. Many of the students knew Casey or had older brothers and sisters who went to SHS with Casey.

Said graduating senior Bridget Clawson, “The program you did today was fantastic. I think it really got through to the kids because it wasn’t all facts and statistics and telling them what to do. You and Mr. Feldman really put the ideas out in a personable way that almost made it seem like I was in a classroom! Thank you for sharing you story with everyone, I think you really got through to a lot of kids at SHS.”

SHS SADD officer Amrita Famachandran and Joel Feldman

Through the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation and its sponsored site EndDD.org (End Distracted Driving), over 40,000 students nationwide have seen the distracted driving presentation as a result of Joel Feldman organizing some 800 trial lawyers, judges, safety officials and friends to speak in their local communities. The beginning of the effort coincided with National Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April.  Joel Feldman has personally reached some 4,000 students alone in Pa, NJ, CO and MD.

According to Joel Feldman, “Through bringing awareness of the issue to students and their parents, we are saving lives and keeping Casey’s memory alive. If even one life is saved, it is more than worth the effort”.

Related Links:

Springfield High School (SHS)

SADD

Faces of Distracted Driving – Casey Feldman

EndDD.org (End Distracted Driving)

National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

 

 

Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation Awards 2012 Scholarship to Springfield High School Senior

Saturday, June 2nd, 2012

By Joel D. Feldman*

Bridget Clawson at her senior prom

The Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation awarded a $1500 scholarship to Springfield High School (SHS) graduating senior Bridget Clawson. The award was presented by SHS teacher John Gildea and Casey Feldman’s mother, Dianne Anderson, at the SHS Senior Awards Ceremony. Ms. Clawson was recommended for the award by SHS faculty member Christine Belton. Ms. Clawson will be attending Temple University in the Fall and looks forward to becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner and travelling to a third world country to help others.

In nominating Ms. Clawson, Christine Belton stated:
Bridget is an extraordinary young woman; she is driven to make a difference in the world and she is not afraid to take on leadership roles to further the causes she champions. Bridget leads by example and keeps her judgment for herself and does not project it on her peers. Bridget is determined yet resilient-she practices, practices, practices, does all the legwork and homework and puts in unlimited hours to complete her work for her courses and her activities…Bridget is an insightful, focused, confident and thoughtful young woman who  … focuses on the bright world around her.”

Ms. Clawson was a four-year member of SADD serving as an officer for three years; a four year participant in the Dance Marathon, serving as committee member for two years and captain for one; a member of the PEER Facilitators; played multiple sports and participated in all four musicals during her high school career.

The Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation awards an annual scholarship to a graduating senior who possesses a superior work ethic, has compassion for the world around her/him , is caring and supportive of those in need,  is loyal and maintains a diverse group of friends.

Congratulations Bridget!

_______________________________________

Joel & casey*Joel Feldman is the father of the late Casey Feldman and founder of the Casey Feldman Foundation and its sponsored project, EndDD.org. He has been a practicing attorney for 34 years and a shareholder in the law firm of Anapol Schwartz in Philadelphia. He received a masters in counseling in 2013 and speaks throughout the U.S. and Canada to teens and adults, changing attitudes and behaviors through the science based, End Distracted Driving program. Joel also provides death notification training to law enforcement and the medical community. Joel can be reached at[email protected].

 

 

Foundation Awards Two Scholarships to 2011 Springfield High School Seniors

Monday, June 20th, 2011

SHS 2011 Scholarship Recipient Kelly O'Hara

SHS 2011 Scholarship Recipient Hayden Dahmm

The Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation awarded two $1500 scholarships to Springfield High School (SHS) graduating seniors, Hayden Dahmm and Kelly O’Hara. The awards were presented by SHS teacher John Gildea and Casey Feldman’s parents, Dianne Anderson and Joel Feldman at the SHS Senior Awards Ceremony. Both students were recommended  by SHS faculty members. Mr. Dahmm will be attending Swarthmore College in the fall with a dual major in Engineering and Public Policy. Ms. O’Hara will be attending Drexel University where she will major in Graphic Design.

In nominating Mr. Dahmm for the scholarship, Dr. William Harley  stated that, “Hayden is very mature and has learned to budget his time among extensive academic, community service, and leadership activities.” He has achieved a class rank in the ninety-eighth percentile of the SHS Class of 2011. Hayden is a member of the SHS chapter of the National Honor Society and was president of the SHS chapter of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) during his Junior year. This past spring, he earned first place in the FBLA Regional Competition for Emerging Business Issues. In 2009, Hayden achieved sixth place State-Wide in the FBLA Public Speaking competition.

(more…)

Casey Feldman Awarded an Honory Cappie; SHS Laramie Project Cast Wins Awards at the Cappies

Monday, June 21st, 2010

The Casey poster on display in the showcase at the 2010 Cappies Gala

Casey was awarded an honorary Cappie for her dedication to theater and journalism at the Greater Philadelphia Cappies Gala on May 23, 2010. Additionally, SHS, which dedicated their theater season to Casey, won three Cappies in conjunction with their performance of The Laramie Project.

 In 2005, The Greater Philadelphia chapter was established and Casey became the first lead critic from Springfield High School. Casey acted in 6 theatrical productions during her high school years and was nominated for a Cappie herself at the 2006 Gala. Casey played Gwendolyn Pidgeon in the Odd Couple and accepted the 2006 Cappie on behalf of the entire SHS cast that year for Best Play.

 In addition to dedicating their entire theater season to Casey this past year, Springfield High School held a special “pink performance” of The Laramie Project in November, 2009 as a special tribute to Casey.  A plaque in memory of Casey was dedicated prior to the performance and was hung in the SHS Knorr Theater. The Laramie Project was Casey’s first high school theatrical production in 2004.

  Coincidentally (or not?), at this year’s Cappies Gala, the SHS 2009 Laramie Project cast won the Cappie for Best Play! In addition, cast members Bridget Yingling won Best Supporting Actress in a Play and Sean Skahill, Best Supporting Actor in a Play! These awards came despite 35 area high schools participating, including direct competition from West Chester, which also performed The Laramie Project.

The SHS Laramie Project cast at the Cappies. Photo editing courtesy of the students.

At this year’s Gala, the Springfield High School men who performed in The Laramie Project wore pink vests and ties with their tuxedos in honor of Casey. Each of the SHS three acceptance “speeches” for a Cappie award included a thank you to both Casey and Mathew Shepard (about whom The Laramie Project was written).

 No doubt, both Casey and Matthew were with the SHS Laramie Project cast during their performances in the Knorr Theater  this past year and at the 2010 Cappies Gala. Most assuredly, Casey was beaming with pride as SHS accepted their awards and was humbled as her parents accepted the Cappie on her behalf.

Click on the video above to view the Cappie presentation to Casey.

Note:  The Cappies (Critics and Awards Program) was founded in Washington, D.C. eleven years ago, and is active in 18 cities across the U.S. and Canada today. It recognizes the accomplishments of high school thespians and the talents of high school journalists. Journalism and theater students review plays and musicals performed at high schools other than their own and submit their edited reviews for publication in local newspapers, including the Philadelphia Inquirer. During this process, the students vote for the performances deserving of special recognition. The entire year of performing and reviewing culminates in the Cappies Gala.

[View more photos from the 2010 Cappies Gala this year. Read the newspaper articles about the  2010 Cappies collected on the Casey Feldman Memories website.  View photos from Casey’s high school performances and the 2006 Cappies. View photos and videos from the “Pink Performance”  of The Larmamie Project in 2009 and the plaque dedication to Casey. Read the News of Delaware County article, “SHS Theater Family Remembers Beloved Actress” on  the Foundation News and Updates blog.]

Christy Kobasa Awarded the First Springfield High School Casey Feldman Memorial Scholarship

Monday, June 7th, 2010

 

John Gildea (left), Dianne Anderson, Christy Kobasa and Joel Feldman at the SHS Honors Reception on June 2, 2010

The first Springfield High School Casey Feldman Memorial Scholarship has been awarded to senior, Christy Kobasa who will be attending St. Joseph’s University in the fall. The scholarship nominees were based on teacher recommendations and included the following requirements:

  1. Possesses a superior work ethic
  2. Has compassion for the world around him/her
  3. Is caring, helpful and supportive of others in need
  4. Is honest, altruistic, loyal, and shows high integrity
  5. Maintains a diverse group of friends
  6. If possible, but not required, an interest in theater or journalism

Christy was recommended by her National Honor Society advisor, Mrs. Natalie Tanner. The $3000 scholarship award was announced at the SHS Class of 2010 Honors Reception on June 2, 2010 by Springfield High School teacher and theater director Mr. John Gildea. The award was presented by Casey Feldman’s parents, Dianne Anderson and Joel Feldman. According to Mr. Gildea in announcing the award,

Tonight’s recipient of the Casey Feldman Memorial Scholarship possesses some of the same characteristics as Casey, including a superior and driven work ethic; honesty, loyalty and integrity; a very wide range of friends throughout the school; and a compassion for the world around her. This last trait regarding compassion was the one that stood out the most in the recommendation written by her teacher. In the recommendation, the teacher wrote about all the various groups this student has shown leadership and dedication to including the Dance Marathon, the PEER Facilitators, and the National Honor Society. One of the main criteria for membership into the National Honor Society is service, and tonight’s recipient has certainly served her community and much more.

 Here are some of the highlights shared in her recommendation: she organized the NHS’s Martin Luther King Day of Service through City Year, where she and about 15 students went to a school-in-need in Philadelphia to help brighten up the hallways by painting words of encouragement. She also organized a group to serve dinner to many homeless people at City Team Ministries in Chester. Additionally, she organized a group that went to a church-in-need in East Lansdowne to paint the bathrooms and a classroom. She is a worship assistant for her church where she volunteers her time to set up Sunday services. She served as co-leader for the PEER Facilitators, a group that devotes its time to helping other students in need; she participated in the Dance Marathon, a philanthropy that raises money for children with cancer, for four years and served on the Leadership Team for two years, and finally, I personally had the chance to attend her graduation party and witness all the leftovers being packaged up for an organization called “Aid for Friends”.

 These altruistic acts of human kindness showcase the recipient’s selflessness and her true desire to serve those in need, another characteristic that Casey Feldman possessed.

 Congratulations Christy! The Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation is proud of the first recipient of the Springfield High School Foundation scholarship established in Casey’s memory.

Help other deserving students realize their dreams and contribute to the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation.

The News of Delaware County: “SHS theater family remembers beloved actress”

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

By Amy A. Winnemore
LIFE EDITOR

Published December 16, 2009

Joel Feldman (right) speaks at the special "Pink Performance" of 'The Laramie Project' while SHS Theatre Director John Guildea and Dianne Anderson look on. The Springfield Theatre Workshop created a plaque in honor of Casey.

With smiles and tears, the Springfield High School theater family paid tribute to the memory of one of their brightest stars.

Casey Feldman, a 2006 graduate of Springfield High School, was walking to her job July 16 on the Ocean City boardwalk when she was struck and killed by a motorist.

“With Casey’s passing, our theater family lost one of its brightest stars. She was a beloved alumnus who radiated warmth, love and compassion for everyone around her. Casey was a star in life and she is now a star in heaven. She will always be there for us as our guiding light,” said SHS English teacher and theater director John Gildea.

L to R: Brooke Burdge, Marie Larson, Kelsey Butler, Dianne Anderson, Jamie Gallagher and Janine Repka at the reception before the performance

The Springfield Theatre Workshop (STW) season has been dedicated to Feldman’s memory. They recently finished a four-night run of “The Laramie Project,” the first show in which Casey performed in 2004 when she was a sophomore.

One of the shows, for only Feldman’s friends and family, was a special memorial performance in her honor.

“It was a beautiful tribute,” said Feldman’s mother Dianne Anderson.

STW has created a plaque to honor all of Feldman’s accomplishments, which will be hung on the Knorr Theatre wall, “so that she will always be guiding us throughout our rehearsals and performances,” said Gildea.

Throughout her high school acting career, Feldman appeared in every theater production including “Our Town” as Professor Willard, “Arsenic and Old Lace as Elaine Harper, “The Odd Couple” as Gwendolyn Pigeon and “The Mousetrap” as Mollie Ralston. Friends say Feldman brought leadership and experience to the theater department. She was a STW officer her senior year, served as the 2006 Cappies Team Lead Critic and was voted “Best Actress” that year.

Casey as Gwendolyn Pigeon in The Odd Couple

“She also brought kindness and compassion for everyone around her,” said Gildea.

To continue her spirit, her family has created The Casey Feldman Network and the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation. The foundation was set up to provide financial support to individuals, groups and institutions that share Feldman’s interests, qualities and goals. The Foundation will also be sponsoring a scholarship in her name to give to a Springfield High School graduating senior. The recipient will showcase all the qualities that Casey possessed.

“When it came to acting, Casey was a perfectionist. She always made sure her lines were memorized quickly. She was always prepared for each rehearsal, and she also asked a lot of questions when she was unsure about her particular movements or how to say a particular line. Casey simply shined when she took the stage. She worked endlessly to make each of her roles memorable for the audiences,” said Gildea.

[Note: Click here to view photos and videos from the reception, plaque dedication and performance. Click here to view the High School Theater Galleries on the Casey Feldman Memories site.]