Posted on 2 Comments

Remembering Cris Dopher by Bill Sapsis

Cris Dopher. Lighting designer, technical director, scenic designer, CAD manager extraordinaire and one of the founding members of the Long Reach Long Riders, passed away August 25th after a long illness. Some might say he succumbed to complications brought about by Cystic fibrosis, a disease he lived with for a long time.   But I don’t think that’s quite accurate. Cris did not succumb. He faced the inevitable with courage, tenacity, humor and a gentle stubbornness. When it was time, he accepted his fate.

Cris faced life, and all the challenges it threw at him, with a seemingly limitless supply of perseverance. It didn’t matter if he was working on his beloved Harley Davidson Sportster, Roxy, (Every. Single. Night. on the LRLR rides) or was rolled down a hospital hallway on his way to yet another procedure or surgery. He took ownership of whatever journey he was on making it the best it could be, not just for himself but for everyone involved.

Cris, was a champion for Behind the Scenes; raising money and awareness while riding Roxy on the LRLR or, in later years, in a chase car. He also worked tirelessly with Cystic Fibrosis organizations, raising money and offering physical and emotional support for other CF patients. He shared his double lung transplant experiences with those who were preparing for that operation, and he was there for them afterward.

Cris had a down-to-earth sense of humor. When he was relegated to riding in a chase car on this past LRLR ride, which took place mostly above 10,000 ft, he was happy to point out that, since he was already on oxygen and had his own tank, he didn’t have to worry about altitude sickness.

But I believe his legacy will prove to be his writing. Over the last year of his life, Cris took to social media with a blog that spoke of his life experiences. His was an upbeat pragmatism that gave us all a look into his heart, mind and soul. He spoke about living with CF. About watching his CF family pass away, one by one. Even when describing his body’s rejection of the new lungs, his words were clear, humorous and without rancor.

The phrase “only the good die young” could not be more appropriate. At 47 he lived longer than he expected, but it was still much too short. Cris was a compassionate, strong and passionate individual and we all are the better for knowing him. His memory will live in his words and deeds and that image of him sitting on the ground working on Roxy yet again. 

Thank you for being you, Cris. Know that you rode the hell out of it, as I’m confident you are at this very moment.

Editor’s Note: Cris’ family have indicated memorial donations may be made to the following charities:

  • Behind the Scenes
  • Boomer Esiason Foundation (Team Boomer)
  • The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
  • Ellie’s Army
Posted on

The 2019 Holiday Cards Are Here!

Announcing the 2019 Behind the Scenes Holiday Cards

The 2019 Holiday Cards are on sale now. There’s no better way to spread holiday cheer than with these unique cards created especially for Behind the Scenes. Sending a BTS holiday card helps spread the word about the charity and lets your family, friends, customers and colleagues know it’s important to you to assist those in need from our industry. Three card ordering options are offered: personalized cards with a company logo and custom message, card packs of 10 with a standard greeting, and electronic versions for delivery by email. Orders will be taken until September 30, 2019 to arrive by late November. View and order cards. Six wonderful new designs are featured this year. Scenic Art Studios has contributed designs by Irina Portnyagina and Athena Parella. Mount Vernon Senior High School is represented by Andreana Carlino and Alex Elmendorf. Perennial favorite Robert Mendoza is back and we are delighted to welcome Tupac Martir of Satore Studio.
Posted on

Support the LRLR 2019 Charity Ride

With a healthy mix of Colorado’s mountain peaks and mountain goats, spectacular curves, amazing views and the close-knit camaraderie of the participants, the Long Reach Long Riders have completed their 16thAnnual Charity Ride, dubbed “The Altimeter Tour.” Ride Marshal Jon Kirchhofer executed a nearly flawless logistical plan, choosing routes, restaurants and rest stops that kept the 26 riders and chase car drivers entertained and looking forward to each additional day.

Since 2004, the LRLR have ridden all over the US and parts of Canada to help raise awareness and funds for Behind the Scenes and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Donations are still being accepted for this year’s ride through August 31st, and the total raised this year is already over $50,000. Noted Mark Heiser, one of the core members of LRLR and Treasurer of Behind the Scenes, “The need now is greater than ever. As more people learn of our mission, more grant applications come in. Every little bit helps!”

Donate now! 

To learn more about the ride  visit www.LRLR.org. Look for an announcement soon about LRLR2020!

 

Posted on

Lightswitch Becomes Pledge-a-Service Partner

Lightswitch Becomes BTS Pledge-a-Service Partner

Lightswitch has become the newest Behind the Scenes Pledge-a-Service Partner by pledging to donate a percentage of their design fees to the charity. For more than twenty-five years Lightswitch has been committed to changing the way people experience their world. They are a consortium of internationally recognized lighting, media and visual designers who create unforgettable experiences where people live, work, learn and play. Whether for a concert, an event, an experiential environment, or an architectural project, they use a balance of artistry, practicality and technical mastery to create memorable, compelling and responsible lighting and visual design. This core principle guides their team of dedicated designers who serve clients from their full-service studios around the world.

Upon presenting their first check for $1,000 Howard Werner, Partner and Principal, stated, “As people that have worked in the entertainment industry for our entire careers the people of Lightswitch have had our share of personal setbacks.  We fully support those in our industry that are in need and are very happy to be a part of Behind the Scenes and the effort to help our brothers and sisters in their time of need.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Lightswitch as a Pledge-a-Service Partner,” commented Rick Rudolph, the Chair of Behind the Scenes. “Having a company of their stature and vision participate in the program is extremely important to the charity both in spreading the word to those in need that help is available and in encouraging others in the design community to join them in supporting the work of Behind the Scenes.”

Posted on

Support the LRLR Altimeter Tour

Support the Long Reach Long Riders on the 2019 "Altimeter Tour"

The Long Reach Long Riders announce their 16th annual charity motorcycle ride. The ride, appropriately dubbed “The Altimeter Tour” begins on July 6 in Denver, Colorado and returns there on July 13. The route winds through the Rocky Mountains where the riders will encounter breathtaking mountain passes, awesome mountain valleys and jaw-dropping mountain peaks. Some of the highlights along the way will be Denver’s Red Rocks Amphitheater, Rocky Mountain National Park and, of course, Pike’s Peak. Most of the ride will be spent between 10,000’ and 14,000’ At 14,114’, Pikes Peak is the second highest spot we’ll see on the ride.

Jon Kirchofer, ride marshal for The Altimeter Tour noted, “The mountains will provide scenery galore and the route will present a wide variety of roads to satisfy everyone’s expectations. Pike’s Peak and Rocky Mountain National Park are great spots for a motorcycle ride and we’ll take full advantage of all they have to offer”.

The Long Reach Long Riders annual charity motorcycle ride benefits Behind the Scenes and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. What began in 2004 as a single event immediately turned into an annual ride that has raised over $650,000.00 for the two charities. Please visit http://lrlr.org for more information on the 16th annual ride. Support a rider today!

Posted on

Lightpower Neal Preston Collection

The Lightpower Collection of Neal Preston’s iconic Rock’n’Roll photographs has been displayed around the world with the proceeds from the sales of fine art prints, books, and posters going to support charity. 

Neal Preston is one of the most highly respected photographers in the history of the music business and his legendary images include some of the most memorable ever made of rock’s most iconic stars. His career in photography, which started in high school and continues to the present, has spanned well over four decades. His photographs have appeared in every conceivable media outlet: on the covers and pages of world-class magazines and newspapers, to books, television shows, feature films, Broadway show programs and billboards, vinyl, CD and DVD packages … literally everywhere. Through his body of work Neal has made a significant contribution to the pop culture histories of multiple generations.

Neal’s client list is a virtual who’s-who of rock royalty and his archive is regarded as one of the music industry’s most extensive and significant photo collections. Rock fans know him best as the photographer who has toured with Led Zeppelin, The Who, Queen, Fleetwood Mac, Bruce Springsteen, and countless others. In 1985, Preston was chosen as one of the official photographers for Bob Geldof’s “Live Aid” concert at London’s Wembley Stadium. In 1988 his association with Bruce Springsteen helped land him the job as official tour photographer for Amnesty International’s landmark “Conspiracy of Hope” tour.

Purchase Neal Preston’s books and pictures from Behind the Scenes

Lightpower was founded in 1978 in Germany as a lighting rental company. Since then Lightpower has grown to be an internationally established distributor for stage and studio lighting equipment. The Lightpower Collection was born out of a company culture that has grown over several years with a passion for collecting Rock’n’Roll art. The collection features photography and album cover artwork from many of the world’s greatest photographers and designers. Neal Preston’s Rock’n’Roll photography represents the core of this collection and comprises over seventy large-format original fine art prints. 

Learn about the debut of the Lightpower Neal Preston Collection at MusikMesse 2015

]]>