Play at Ragtag raises about $500 for MU student’s kidney transplant

Thursday, July 3, 2008 | 2:11 p.m. CDT; updated 4:14 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

COLUMBIA — “Lobby Hero,” a play put on by the Eyrie Actors of Central Methodist University, raised approximately $500 from two productions Sunday and Monday at the Ragtag Cinemacafe. The play was organized by Mark Kelty, the director of theater arts at the university, to raise money for MU student Alexander Vallar’s kidney transplant.

On Sunday night the play sold out, and the theater had to turn a few people away, Kelty said. On the second night of the production, only about half the tickets were sold. Kelty estimated that a total of 100 people came to see the play.

Kelty said he had planned the show at the Ragtag before he knew about Vallar’s condition. When he found out that Vallar needed a transplant, he decided to dedicate the funds to him.

Vallar, 22, is currently a junior at MU. He recently suffered kidney failure and is on a waiting list to receive a new one. The total cost of the surgery is around $100,000 but that does not include insurance, Vallar said. He thinks that his insurance will cover most of his surgery, but it all depends on when a kidney becomes available.

Vallar’s kidney failure has not left him in any serious pain except for his dialysis treatments. He said on days when he receives these treatments he becomes exhausted.

Hickman High School also held a fundraiser for him after his mother died a couple of months ago, called “A Night for Ella.”

“It feels really good to have people supporting you,” Vallar said. “It shows I have a larger support system out there besides just my immediate family.”

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