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Published: Thursday, 12/4/2008

Holiday variety show helps needy families

A seasonal sampler will fill the Franciscan Theatre & Conference Center at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Eddie Boggs' Holiday Variety Show, an annual fund-raiser that's given nearly $300,000 to help struggling Toledo families.

Performers donate their time and talent to the event, produced voluntarily by Boggs, a Sylvania musician and retired school counselor.

Each performer in this fast-paced, family-friendly show graces the stage for five minutes. Jean Holden will croon jazz, Bob Wurst will strum country, the male quartet Streetwise will harmonize, as will the jazzy Sixth Edition. Ten Mile Creek will play a Native American carol and an old-time breakdown. Dances from the Nutcracker will be performed by the Ballet Theater of Toledo and the Bedford Dance Academy. The 30-member Sylvania Community Orchestra will back up several singers.

In addition, Cookie the Clown will entertain with magic tricks, and students from the Toledo School for the Arts will sing.

Boggs has played guitar and sung in northwest Ohio for decades and also performs periodically with the New Christy Minstrels. When he undertook the holiday show 18 years ago, he selected as its charity Family House of Toledo because it works to keep imperiled families together and get them training, education, and jobs.

Sunday, Boggs will pay tribute to two contributors to the arts: vocalist Jon Hendricks and Sister Sheila Shea, who will be inducted into the Lake Erie West Hall of Fame for the performing arts.

Hendricks developed a singing style known as vocalese. He's been nominated for 12 Grammys and has won five.

For years, Sister Sheila ran the Franciscan Center at Lourdes College. In 2001, she agreed to take over the financially troubled Performing Arts Council of Toledo, offering to work for a year without pay.

Eddie Boggs' Holiday Variety Show begins at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Franciscan Theatre & Conference Center of Lourdes College, 6832 Convent Blvd., Sylvania. Tickets, $15 and $20, may be purchased at the box office and at the door. Information: 419-824-3999.



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