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Ben's Charity Drive
Written on the 28 September 2016 by scotch
Giving young Adelaide performers a chance to shine while raising money for charity prompted Ben Francis to start his own production company, Promise Adelaide.
Since 2014, the Scotch College student has raised about $9000 for charities, including The Cancer Council and beyondblue, by organising and directing cabaret shows.
His next production, #SHe, will raise money for White Ribbon Australia to end domestic violence against women.
The show, which stars about 20 performers from across Adelaide, will feature about 30 songs to empower females.
"I always try to pick charities close to my heart or that are topical," Ben, 17, says.
"At Scotch College, Year 11 students always have a White Ribbon initiative where we do fundraisers at school and that's one of the reasons I chose the charity."
The Craigburn Farm resident, who moved to Australia from England eight years ago, says his Out of the Blue show last November for beyondblue has so far been his most fulfilling event.
"My family has a history of depression," Ben says.
"The Heart Foundation I chose because it was near Valentine's Day so it seemed fitting, and the first one I did in memory of my grandmother who died of breast cancer in 2004."
Ben's fundraising efforts have been recognised with a nomination in News Corporation's Pride of Australia Awards, which recognise people who make their community a better place.
"It feels great to be nominated and I am happy that people appreciate what I am doing," he says.
#SHe is on at Scotch College, Carruth Rd Torrens Park, on Saturday 3 December and Sunday 4 December. Cost: Adults $25, concession $20. More details: promiseadelaide.com.
-- original article by Celeste Villani appeared in Mitcham & Hills Messenger, 28 September 2016. Photo: Greg Higgs
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