BOCA RATON, Fla.
- Sept. 15, 2015
-- The 8th Annual Rick Newman - Halloween Sound Light & Laser Show to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation, will begin September 26th and last through October 31st, 2015. This event is truly a miracle event. After all, it is no small feat that the organizer Rick Newman has survived everything he has been through over the past five years including a severe aneurysm and cancer diagnosis and these community events still manage to take place. Even someone in perfect health would have found it a challenge to accomplish anything near what Rick Newman and his holiday shows have been able to do for the Make-A-Wish Foundation including having raised over $30,000 for the charity over the years. As usual kids and adults of all ages will enjoy the light and laser show accompanied by spooky music, outrageous Halloween decorations and animatronics as well as a virtual thunderstorm every fifteen minutes. On Halloween night trick-or-treaters will also have fun during their annual candy give away. The DocMiami International Film Festival has also donated a new giant 54" spider to add to this years display. The organizers and volunteers have been very proud to make this event possible for the community as well as to help benefit the children of Make-A-Wish whom have been too sick or unable to be there in person themselves.
Eight years ago local Boca Raton resident, Rick Newman, began his holiday shows in order to raise funds and awareness for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. DocMiami Film Festival has been a proud sponsor of this event over the years and has donated hundreds of pounds of candy for trick-or-treaters. Unfortunately, in 2012, our community partner Rick Newman suffered an aortic aneurysm. At that time his doctors had estimated that he would only have 1-2 years to live at most. Even facing these challenges, shortly after being released from the hospital and while still recovering in a wheelchair; the holiday shows to benefit Make-A-Wish were still held at his home with the help of his wife Jeanne and generous friends and neighbors. Unfortunately, in 2015 after undergoing routine tests, Newman was also diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer. But according to Rick, nothing has stopped him yet and “The Show Must Go On!” So what does it really take to selflessly put on a show when one is still recovering from chemotherapy and a nearly fatal aneurysm? Well, Rick has managed to put together an entirely computerized show. He has painted 100s of items so that they glow in the dark under black light. He uses about a gallon of fog liquid a night in order to provide a creepy Halloween atmosphere and as Mr. Newman has been feeling extremely ill lately, he has also created a talking animatronic zombie head which hosts his shows and which is affectionately named, “Count Mortimer”.
The DocMiami International Film Festival is honored to participate once again in this year's event and is looking forward to another incredible show. When asked about why these shows are so important Rick Newman replied, “I do these shows because of years of experience producing professional large scale ones. Our friend’s, neighbors and volunteers help us do this because we all care about the community and because we love kids”. Mr. Newman’s years of experience are no understatement. Originally from New York and having lived in South Florida for over twenty years, prior to his retirement, he had helped make possible: an all-digital full dome planetarium and state-of-the-
art theater in a large Florida science museum and also helped create numerous science and technology centers at schools and camp sites throughout the country. Newman has produced over 5000 live shows in New York at resort hotels, large night clubs and theaters and was even the technical adviser at the 20th Woodstock Reunion Concert series in New York.
One might say that continuing to produce these annual events under the present circumstances is incomprehensible and that Mr. Newman should better focus on his health and his family. It would not be an unreasonable suggestion as only a few months ago he was in an intensive care unit with a collapsed lung and pneumonia having experienced kidney failure and suffered damage to his throat, impairing his ability to eat or even to speak. His doctors had even told his wife to prepare for the worst but somehow, Rick managed to once again pull through. He is very much presently continuing to recover at home but unfortunately has some lingering damage and still needs to complete another round of chemotherapy, radiation and rehabilitation therapy as soon as he is well enough to endure it. With this noted, perhaps this unsung hero in the community whom has been both beloved and even controversial at times has managed to do something which maybe he didn’t even expect. Producing these events after suffering and surviving so much are a reminder to all of us to appreciate every moment. That no matter what crisis may afflict us life is always full of surprises. That even when the medical community gives up on you and common sense might tell you to give up and that one has already “given all you’ve got” well, we might still be capable of “doing,” “giving” and “being” more than anyone could have possibly imagined.The Halloween shows are absolutely free for everyone and will take place every night between 7pm and 10pm at 699 NW 9th Avenue, Boca Raton, FL 33486. Visitors can also listen to the show from their car upon arrival by tuning in to 107.3 FM. For more information call 561-750-7000 or visit http://www.HighTechScience.org