The Peter Pan Foundation was founded in 2007 by Leslie Noel. At age 17 her journey to a Broadway career was interrupted by a life- threatening illness. After several years of recovery it appeared her journey was back on track, only to be interrupted again, this time by the death of a close friend and student, Steffen Ryge. Steffen was the original Peter Pan in Leslie’s first musical fundraising production, “Wish Upon a Star”. After a remarkable opening, he died in a tragic automobile accident the week before his encore performance.
In the days following that loss, the vision of the Peter Pan Foundation was born. It grew out of Leslie’s desire to provide children with a safe and nurturing environment to discover and develop their creative talents, and at the same time teach them important lessons about their responsibility to take care of themselves and help others in need. Using the medium of musical theater, the PPF has provided hundreds of children, teens and adults with the opportunity to discover or rediscover their “creative side”. At the PPF everyone is included, everyone is valued, and everyone is responsible for making sure that doesn’t change.
This sense of responsibility is reflected in the other aspects of the PPF. Our Board of Directors meets monthly to oversee foundation operations and develop the strategy and vision that will allow the foundation to be even more successful. Our youth leadership group, known as the Bay Area Magic Makers, or BAMM Squad, is made up of amazing individuals who meet weekly to represent the youth of the foundation. BAMM plans and carries out important community service events, organizes and hosts events to give PPF members, their families and friends a chance to have fun and brainstorms new ways for the PPF to continue to make magic.
Working together, this incredible organization teaches all of us, young and younger, tremendously important lessons about ourselves, our talent, and our responsibility to ourselves and our community, including East Bay’s premiere health care facility dedicated to the care of children in need. If you would like to join the Peter Pan Foundation come check us out; we look forward to your participation!