LAS VEGAS— On September 12, magician and entertainer Criss Angel will present an incredible, star-studded benefit to fight pediatric cancer. The HELP Heal Every Life Possible event will feature superstar performances benefiting pediatric cancer research, treatment and ultimately a cure. The Greek-American Angel, whose last name is Sarantakos, was born in Hempstead, Long Island, NY with roots in Mistra and Sparta. He has championed children’s causes and raised over $1 million dollars over the years for various children’s charities including Make-A-Wish Foundation since 2001. The upcoming benefit is more personal for Angel who spoke with The National Herald (TNH) about the event and his dedication to helping children. He told TNH that even before he had a child of his own, he was very involved with helping kids. Then, his son Johnny was diagnosed with leukemia at 20 months old. Angel noted that every two minutes a child is diagnosed with pediatric cancer which is unacceptable. “These children live with life and death every day,” he said. It is his mission in life, Angel observed, to use the blessings he has received for the greater good of children. The death of his father in 1998 from stomach cancer bolstered his determination to do as much as possible to help find a cure for the terrible disease. In 2009, he established his charitable foundation in honor of his father, calling it Believe- Anything is Possible. The foundation was renamed and refocused last fall when Criss received the news of his son’s diagnosis. The Johnny Chrisstopher Children’s Charitable Foundation is one of the rare charities that does not deduct expenses from donations. All the funds raised go towards the fight against pediatric cancer.
Giving back is a priority for Angel who told TNH about his involvement in the church from a young age, noting that his parents were married at St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Hempstead where he served as an altar boy for 11 years, attended Sunday school, GOYA, and played basketball, before embarking on his extraordinary career. Angel’s dedication to charity is an example to all and he observed that it is his “calling” to do all he can to raise awareness and help find a cure for pediatric cancer.
A dazzling array of stars will join Angel at the benefit. Among them, the legendary Jerry Lewis, Greek-American singer Tony Orlando, Siegfried & Roy, Vince Neil of Motley Crue, actor Gary Oldman, Mike Tyson, Taboo of Black Eyes Peas, Flavor Flav, comedian and America’s Got Talent judge Howie Mandel, Cirque Du Soleil, Richie Sambora of Bon Jovi, Blue Man Group, Lance Burton, Dee Snider of Twisted Sister, and many more.
The benefit will also feature a celebrity auction, giving attendees a chance to bid on priceless experiences and memorabilia. Among the items up for bid in the silent and live auction: Live Like a Celebrity – enjoy a two nights and three days at Serenity, Criss Angel’s palatial 25,000 square foot Las Vegas estate, enjoy access to Criss’s private chefs, pool, gym, movie theater, and chauffeured Rolls Royce, plus a meet-and-greet with Criss; The Secret – Sworn to secrecy, one can learn from the best with a magic lesson from Criss and The Supernaturalists, discover his secrets in an unprecedented opportunity in the history of magic to watch Mindfreak Live from backstage and stay in the Criss Angel Suite at the Luxor, special weekend for two at Caesars Palace- 2 night weekend stay, dinner at Mr. Chow and Guy Savoy plus two tickets to attend Celine Dion’s show and a Meet & Greet with her; Jennifer Lopez and Britney Spears tickets and Meet & Greet; Criss Angel’s custom Chopper motorcycle and Campagna Motors T-REX 3-Wheeler; “Fast & Furious” signed script donated by Ludacris; signed boxing gloves from Mike Tyson; WWE – 4 tickets to a live event of choice with Meet & Greet; Muhammad Ali autographed Movie Poster; New York Knicks, New York Rangers, New York Mets, and Red Sox VIP experiences; and UFC ultimate experiences.
As Angel told TNH, the winning bidder will have the opportunity to sit directly in front of the octagon for a UFC match elbow to elbow with celebrities and UFC champions. He went on to say that 100% of the funds raised will go directly to pediatric cancer research and he is paying for everything out of his own pocket. Angel pointed out that pediatric cancer research is disproportionately underfunded in spite of the fact that it is the leading cause of death by disease. He hopes is to raise $1 million for the cause, noting that it is easy to get a million likes on social media, but translating that into $1 million is more difficult. “If a million people gave a dollar each,” he said, the fundraising goal would be met.
More information on the Help benefit is available online at www.crissangelhelp.com
The International Magicians Society named Criss Angel Magician of the Decade in 2009 and Magician of the Century in 2010. He received an International Magic Lifetime Achievement Award and was unanimously selected as the recipient of the 22nd Louie Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Art of Magic. His bestselling live shows at the Criss Angel Theater at the Luxor in Las Vegas draw crowds from all over the world. His TV series Cross Angel Mindfreak on A&E remains the most successful magic television series ever. Angel will return to TV with a new magic special on A&E set to air on October 31.