Was Cardiac Capers A Success?

Yes!  Cardiac Capers, the every-two-year musical and comedy extravaganza that raises money for the Northwestern Medical Center Auxiliary, once again delighted audiences in October.  This year marked the 19th edition of Cardiac Capers, dating back to its debut in 1980. Each of the four nights of the show drew a large crowd to the BFA Performing Arts Center and we deeply appreciate the enthusiasm of our audience! 

When you think about all it takes to put on a show of this magnitude, this truly is an amazing community tradition.  I am always amazed at the talent of the cast and the effort of the crew. So many people from throughout our community come forward and donate their time to putting on this show.  This year featured many talented singers and performers: some who are Capers veterans and very comfortable on stage, others who are much newer to the spotlight, but willing to step out of their comfort zones and perform.  Part of the magic of Capers is that you do not have to be a star to shine as part of the cast.  Trust me, not all of us can sing and dance as well as some of the Capers stars can!  Many get by on enthusiasm and a desire to be part of putting on a wonderful show for a good cause.  This year’s cast was again a wonderful blend of hospital staff, Auxilians, medical staff, and community members.  I was pleased and proud to share the stage with so many wonderful people. Thank you, performers for a great show! 

In addition to the ‘on stage’ performers, a show like this is not possible without incredible work leading up to it and behind stage.  The organizing committee worked for more than a year and a half on the show – thank you!  In addition, Cardiac Capers benefits from nearly countless volunteers who help with finance, choreography, publicity and advertising, ticket sales, music, program design, ad sales, the raffle, sets and props, staging, patrons, hospitality, costumes, makeup, sound, lighting, rose sales, refreshments, and ushering!  So many people generously gave of their time to make this show such a success. Thank you each for all your time and effort and for all the fun we had along the way!

I would like to personally thank one individual, our Capers Chairperson and Director, Helene Biggie.  Helene is a Capers legend and a past recipient of NMC’s Community Relations Award given each year by the NMC Board of Directors.  She is a source of joy and energy for the Capers cast and crew and absolutely integral in how the entire effort comes together.  Her tireless effort is so deeply appreciated by all of us in Capers, by the NMC Auxiliary, and by our team at NMC.  Thank you, Helene!

Cardiac Capers is one of the largest fundraisers for the NMC Auxiliary. While the final financial numbers for this year’s show have not yet been publicly announced, it is safe to say it was again a very successful effort in this regard.  Monies raised from past Capers and other Auxiliary efforts have allowed the Auxiliary to make a lead gift of $100,000 to NMC’s current capital campaign, Exceptional, that is helping fund the exciting enhancements to our healing environment that are currently underway.  Our hospital is so fortunate to have such a supportive Auxiliary.  Through the generous donations in the Exceptional campaign, NMC is working to ensure our facility aligns with the future of healthcare and the continued provision of exceptional care for our community.  When the entire project is completed near the end of calendar year 2017, it will feature: all private rooms for the inpatients on our Medical Surgical and Intensive Care Units; efficient new space at the front of campus to enhance access to Primary Care, Northwestern Urgent Care, Orthopaedics, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Cardiology, and Pulmonology; and flexible new space for future medical clinics to ensure our community has sustainable access to the preventive specialty medical care it needs.  And just think – one of the keys to this great advance in local medical care is the willingness of staff, friends, and neighbors to sign and dance.

            We live in a wonderful community which supports local healthcare in many ways.  On behalf of all of us here at NMC, thank you to the Capers cast and crew, to the audience members, to the sponsors and advertisers, and to the Auxiliary. Not only was it a great show, it was for a great cause.  Bravo!


— Jill Berry Bowen, NMC’s Chief Executive Officer


Capers is the largest single fundraiser for the Auxiliary, typically generating around $20,000 every two years, and the proceeds have helped them make their generous gift of $100,000 to the Exceptional Campaign.  The final numbers for this year’s show are still being tabulated.