Read Their Lips

The German duo Milli Vanilli got in trouble for it in the ‘80s, but Jimmy Fallon has made lip synching a viral sensation. Fallon’s popular Tonight Show segment pits celebrities against one another to pretend sing recorded music—and it’s become so trendy there’s talk of giving the skit its own show.

On Friday, October 9, lip synching is getting its own live performance in Delaware County, thanks to the Irish Immigration Center of Greater Philadelphia. In the crowded seas of fundraisers, they’re hoping this one will be a standout.

The idea came from Maura McGee, a friend of Immigration Center social worker Leslie Alcock. “We mentioned it to Katrina Stafford, a chef who provides lunch once a month for our seniors,” says Alcock, “and it just went from there.”

Where it went was to a group of Stafford’s friends in Newtown Square, all moms who know each other from school activities. The four women have organized a dozen other fundraisers for causes as diverse as the Newtown Square Fire Department and to help defray medical costs for a variety of children, including one of their own who had leukemia.

Beth Malone, Kate Keith, and Annie Bradly, along with Stafford, are so experienced at the art of raising money that they could probably have their own business. But they do it for free.

“It’s because we’re magnanimous,” deadpans Beth Malone.

“Or stupid,” adds Kate Keith.

“The truth is,” says Malone, seriously, “the first time Kate and I worked together we had so much fun that we looked forward to doing more events so we could hang out. Then we realized, hey, we’re friends, we can hang out.”

They helped Annie Bradly when her son was in treatment for leukemia, and worked with Stafford when she did a fundraiser for Downs syndrome. They all worked on events to raise money for victims of Hurricane Katrina and the Asian tsunami.

Stafford talked them in to helping her serve the Christmas lunch at the Immigration Center. “We all wore Christmas hats and served wine and sat on people’s laps taking pictures, “ laughs Keith. “We had such a blast, so much fun and we got to be part of what they do here. It was a natural.”

The evening’s events at the Paxon Hollow Golf Club are as luxe as a New York society party. For $65, you get substantial appetizers, including Irish food and dessert stations, an open bar for four hours (because the contestants may need the courage) and a cigar bar. Of course, there’s entertainment: Volunteers who are rehearsing now to lip synch to songs spun by DJ Paul McDaid. Some of them met last week at the Immigration Center to get the lowdown on their performances. They all got a gift bag containing a gold hairbrush–a fake microphone they can use to practice pretend singing. (See photos below.)

“Our theme is eat and drink. . . and you don’t have to sing,” says Beth.

The women are working with several local businesses to get costumes and community hairdressers and makeup artists to make everyone on stage look professional.

There are three sponsorship packages For $750, you become a presenting investor with naming rights to the trophy, a recognition plaque, recognition of the Facebook event page and the Irish Immigration Center website along with a link toyou’re your website along with two VIP tickets.

A $500 donation makes you either a legacy or sweet investor. The name ad logo of the legacy investor will be featured on drinkware at the event. You’ll also get a recognition plaque and on the Facebook event and Irish Immigration Center websites, along with a link to your website and two VIP tickets.

The sweet investor will have a banner recognizing them at the dessert table, along with the same benefits as the legacy investor.

For $250, you can sponsor an act, which gets you recognition on stage as well as two VIP tickets, and for $100 you become a supporting investor which gets you sponsorship recognition at the event and on the Facebook event page, as well as one VIP tickets.

Since the Immigration Center is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit, 100 percent of your donation is tax deductible. All proceeds benefit services to the region’s Irish and immigrant community, including the weekly senior lunches, legal clinics, and help with passports and citizenship.

There’s a promotional event at Paddy Rooney’s Pub, 449 West Chester Pike, in Havertown, tonight, Friday, September 18, starting at 8 PM.

For ticket information contact:
Leslie Alcock at 610-789-6355
Annie Bradly at 610-496-5429

For donation information contact
Kate Keith at

For Performing Acts Sponsorship contact
Maura McGee at or at

For Sponsorship Opportunities contact
Beth Malone at

For General information contact
Katrina Stafford at 610-416-2092 or
Ethel McGarvey at 484-802-2448

Here’s how Jimmy Fallon does it.

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