Acting out laughter

By Jill C. Hindman
November 2, 2000

Matt Holmes

by Jill C. Hindman
assistant features editor

For the past eight weeks members of the Improv Troupe have been giving their time to working with students from the Don Guanella School.

“We do exercises to help speed up their thought process,” said Lisa Finegan, who has volunteered since this program began 3 1/2 years ago.

The students come in bright-eyed and smiling, giving high fives and hugs.

The students and volunteers take the stage performing different spur-of-the-moment skits. Everyone cheers on those who are center stage.

In recent years the Improv Troupe members would take turns volunteering, but this year there is an abundance of students who want to give their time.

Lauren Cannon, a first-year special education major, went to the Don Guanella School for Cabrini’s Annual Day of Service. After being there for one day she wanted to continue her involvement.

“I love it. The kids are so much fun,” Cannon said.

The partnership between the two schools began back in 1980, but died down in 1985. The revival was actually originated by Chris Burke, who was a student of the Don Guanella School and later became the star of “Life Goes On.”

Bob Neely, activities director at the Don Guanella School, explained that Burke used to participate as a student. When he came back to visit a few years back he had asked what happened to the program.

Neely made a few phone calls and got the program up and running again.

As the volunteers were sitting around and chatting, it came up that this past Thursday was the final meeting between the Cabrini and Don Guanella students.

“I still plan to keep in touch with them after this is over,” said Cannon.

This is not only a partnership between the two schools, but a friendship.

On Nov. 7 the Comedy Olympics will be held at the Don Guanella School. The Improv Troupe will perform and Don Guanella students will also be performing skits of their own. All are invited to attend. Admission is free. The Don Guanella School is located on Route 320 next to Cardinal O’Hara High School.

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Jill C. Hindman

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