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Craig Zadan Tribute Set for November at Educational Theatre Foundation Gala

The life and work of prolific producer Craig Zadan will be celebrated Nov. 11 at a tribute that will be part of a fundraising gala for the Educational Theatre Foundation.

Zadan and his longtime producing partner, Neil Meron, were already scheduled to be feted by the ETF with its inaugural Theatre for Life Award at the event, to be held at Television Academy headquarters in North Hollywood.

Zadan died Aug. 20 as he was recovering from shoulder replacement surgery. The decision was made by the ETF and Zadan’s life partner, Elwood Hopkins, that Zadan’s memorial incorporate a charitable effort to aid the ETF. The plan was unveiled Tuesday by NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt and ETF president Julie Cohen Theobald.

“I can’t think of a better way to honor Craig since his entire life was devoted to theatre and the performing arts,” said Hopkins. “He also knew the transformative power of the arts especially for young people, and I’m certain Craig would have loved to raise a great deal of money for ETF and their important work. I thank Julie for being so generous and wanting to honor him and Neil in the first place, and I truly hope his legacy for entertainment turns into one for education and advocacy.”

Hopkins also requests that those looking to honor Zadan’s memory make donations to the newly established Craig Zadan Memorial Fund, which also benefits the ETF.

“This is a cause that was near and dear to Craig’s heart and we were so honored to be receiving this award from the Foundation because we knew it would bring attention to their work which literally changes the lives of so many young people,” Meron said. “We’re so pleased this night will now also become a celebration of Craig’s legacy as he was devoted to theatre and so believed in the work of this organization. It makes perfect sense, though is sadly ironic, that we can honor Craig and support something that meant so much to him at the same time.”

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