By KATE NOWLAN
Published: January 14, 2014
This past holiday season, UNC CEED was very thankful for our community partners who continually support us through donations, fundraisers and word of mouth about our program. Today, we want to specifically recognize a Hillsborough, NC based community performance group whose focus is raising donations to support the treatment of eating disorders. On December 15, 2013, the troupe hosted a successful fundraiser at the Depot at Hillsborough Station during which they raised over $1,000 for our program. We are very thankful for their generosity and mission to raise money for eating disorders treatment and research.
In February 2013, Kat McGee, who serves as creative director and choreographer, founded the group after she ran into an old dance friend. The two had been members of a vaudeville cabaret group together in the 1980s and reminisced about their “glory days”. Miss McGee thought fondly of her dance days, but quickly remembered the presence of body image concerns and pressure to be thin that riddled her time in the performance world. She drove home that day thinking that “the bottom line” was that she wanted to perform again in a cabaret group, but she wanted the message of this group to be one of self-love. Thus, the Bottom Line Burlesque & Comedy Troupe was formed with a message to celebrate curves and raise awareness about eating disorders.
During the December fundraiser, the 15 performers put on a variety show with cabaret and old vaudeville style. All the performers were volunteers and received no compensation for their involvement. All proceeds were donated directly to our center. The sold out crowd, comprising 100+ guests, was privy to a fun and clean show featuring dancers, singers, musicians, jugglers, a mime, and a baton twirler. Miss McGee, who goes by Ruby Martini on stage, started the show off by speaking about UNC CEED and her troupe’s mission to support local organizations that provide services to people suffering from eating disorders. The crowd responded favorably. Through donations during the show and money raised from raffling 20 prizes, the crowd more than doubled the funds that were previously donated. Furthermore, show patrons, some with a history of an eating disorder, reached out to Miss McGee following the show with thanks for her group’s admirable cause.
In speaking with Miss McGee after the show, I asked her about her favorite part of the performance that night. She responded that she was brought to tears seeing how the community supported their group and how much they wanted to help in the fight against eating disorders. Moreover, she was very glad that everyone had a blast. She said the crowd was laughing, hooting, and hollering the entire night! When asked what was next for the group, she described a well-deserved holiday break. She said they will reunite in the New Year refreshed and ready to start planning for their next fundraising event. She hopes to regularly align with our program and other local eating disorders treatment centers to raise funds during future performances.
UNC CEED wants to once again thank Miss McGee and the entire Bottom Line troupe for their successful event and generous donation. We look forward to seeing what is next from their group and partnering with them in the future!
For more information about The Bottom Line Burlesque & Comedy Troupe and to see more pictures from the event, go to Facebook.com/TheBottomLineBurlesque. To contact Kat McGee, email TheBottomLine@bellsouth.net.