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'It’s just going to be the best evening ever'

Breast Intentions of Illinois bringing unique fundraiser to Joliet

Breast Intentions of Illinois is bringing "Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding" to Joliet on March 27. The organization raises money to help women with breast cancer.
Breast Intentions of Illinois is bringing "Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding" to Joliet on March 27. The organization raises money to help women with breast cancer.

Bring your appetite, bring your dancing shoes, bring your enthusiasm.

Because ‘Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding" is an immersive performance of an Italian-American wedding that requires participation from the audience (i.e. you).

But don’t bring gifts to the March 27 event. The ticket price ($100 for “family” members and $75 for “friends”) is gift enough.

All proceeds benefit Breast Intentions of Illinois, founded by Lou Ann Peck of Shorewood in 2010 and still going strong as the organization moves into its seventh years, she said.

“We try to find out their greatest need, the one that’s keeping them up at night and preventing them from getting well,” Peck said in a 2014 Herald-News story.

Since its inception in 2010, Breast Intentions of Illinois has raised and donated $160,000 to help about 125 breast cancer patients with rent, utility bills, medical and cosmetic needs, groceries, car payments, gas cards and insurance, according to a news release from Breast Intentions of Illinois.

Breast Intentions donates every penny raised to breast cancer patients, the news release also said.

The organization has helped women buy compression sleeves for lymphedema, provided gas cards so they can drive to chemotherapy treatments or made direct payments on mortgages, car loans or utilities.

“It’s such a satisfaction to know we’re helping someone. I don’t know how to explain it,” Peck said in the 2014 Herald-News story. “I just think it’s a great thing. This goes directly to the patient. There are no administrative salaries. Everyone is a volunteer. No one gets paid.”

That’s why Peck hopes to sell every single ticket to this event.

“It’s just going to be the best evening ever,” Peck said. “We’re going to have real Italian food.: mostaccioli, meatballs, salad, lots of bread. And we’re looking at a chicken fish and possibly a fish dish. There’s going to be a real [wedding] cake, too.”

No one is actually getting married, of course, Peck said.

A traveling troupe of 19 actors will portray the bride and groom, their wedding party and their immediate family, Peck said. But everyone, cast and guests, will interact as if they’re attending a real wedding.

“The cast members get the audience involved,” Peck said. “There will be music and singing.”

“Guests” arrive at the Jacob Henry Mansion starting at 5:30 p.m. and spend an hour enjoying cocktails and appetizers while mingling with the cast.

At 6:30 p.m., everyone moves to Central Church for the “wedding ceremony.” Thirty minutes later, it’s back to the Jacob Henry Mansion for the reception, which includes the Italian-style dinner.

“That’s where the big party begins,” Peck said. “It’s going to be fun for everyone.”

This means you can kiss the bride, the news release said. And dance with the groom, too.

This private production of the long-running off-Broadway comedy is produced by Joe Corcoran, Dan Corcoran and Karen Cellini; directed by Tony Lauria; and created by Artificial Intelligence.

About Breast Intentions

Breast Intentions began in New Jersey in 2007 when two cousins saw the devastating effects of breast cancer on two family members who were diagnosed with advanced breast cancer, according to the news release.

IF YOU GO:

WHAT: Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding

WHEN: 5:30 p.m. March 27.

WHERE: Jacob Henry Mansion Ballroom, 20 S. Eastern Ave., Joliet.

TICKETS: $100 for “family.” $75 for “friends.” Sponsorships available.

ETC: All proceeds benefit Breast Intentions of Illinois.

INFORMATION: Visit tonylovestina.com and breastintentionsil.org

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