Photo By: Courtesy of Nancy Gill
Steve Gill and his daughter Anne are scheduled to participate in this weekend’s 12th Benefit Concert for The LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
Los Altos residents Steve and Nancy Gill have scheduled the 12th Benefit Concert for The LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, “Too Marvelous for Words: The Magic of Johnny Mercer,” 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in Menlo School’s Spieker Ballroom, 50 Valparaiso Ave., Atherton.
Shortly after the Gills’ daughter Anne graduated from Los Altos High School in 1997, she was in a near-fatal car accident that left her blind and brain-injured. In the spring of 1998, after a long rehabilitation period, Anne returned home.
The Gills soon discovered that while many programs serve those with traumatic brain injuries and others assist the blind and visually impaired, very few resources are designed to help those like their daughter with multiple disabilities. They subsequently discovered the LightHouse’s session at its Enchanted Hills Camp for visually impaired adults with other disabilities.
The Gills’ gratitude for the camp’s existence, their appreciation for the patience and compassion of the staff (many of whom are visually impaired) and their desire to support the special-needs session inspired Steve, a veteran Bay Area actor/singer and founder of Menlo School’s Fine Arts Program, to organize the first benefit concert for the LightHouse in 1999.
Previous concerts have raised more than $73,000 in donations, enabling dozens of adults with multiple impairments to receive full or partial scholarships to attend the camp. Like Anne, they spend five days in the Napa hills participating in activities like horseback riding, swimming and hiking, guided by the staff.
Los Altos resident Mollie Thompson and former Los Altos residents Linda and John Jordan will join the Gills in this year’s tribute to the life and music of Mercer. The event will also feature performances by alumni of former LightHouse concerts, several current Menlo students and a number of Menlo faculty members.
Mercer’s “magic” includes his legacy of music standards, ranging from the mellow “Blues in the Night” and “Once for My Baby” to the foot-stomping “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive” and “On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe.”
A $15 donation is requested. There are no reserved seats.