Benefit slated for Kenai man

Drama troupe to help burn victim

Posted: Friday, May 20, 2005

The Drop of the Hat Players, a local drama troupe, is attempting to use its theatrical talents to aid a Kenai family that recently endured somewhat of a trial by fire.

The Goggia family faced tragedy last month when David Goggia, the 50-year-old father of the clan, was severely burned during an attempt to burn brush in the backyard.

Goggia was rushed to Central Peninsula General Hospital and ultimately flown to the intensive care unit of the Harbor View Medical Center in Seattle.

As of Thursday, Ed Goggia, David's father, said his son was doing "all right" but still has a long way to go before recovering.

"They're taking him out of intensive care for the weekend to perform some more skin grafts, but then he'll go back into ICU," his father said.

"They can watch him for infections there in intensive care. He already had an infection in his blood, but he broke the fever this last week," he added.

The senior Goggia doesn't expect his son to be released from the hospital until July 1 at the earliest.

Between mounting medical costs from this treatment and Goggia's wife regularly flying to Seattle and back again to be with their four children — Kimberly, 23, Tyler, 20, Crystal, 18, and Brandon, 15 — the financial strain on the family is becoming palpable.

"They definitely need funds so this seemed like a good cause to kick off our fund-raising program with," said Joseph Rizzo, creator of the newly formed Drop of the Hat Players, and president of the Alaska Children's Institute of the Performing Arts, the nonprofit organization under which the troupe operates.

The group's mission is to quickly raise money for people in the community facing emergency situations or suffering from sudden tragedies.

The troupe provides entertaining shows in different venues. Scripts and other show materials are provided courtesy of "A Prairie Home Companion," a popular Public Radio program aired on more than 100 radio stations nationwide.

The Drop of the Hat Players donate all proceeds raised to the specific individual or family in need — which in this case is the Goggias.

"We're hoping that funds can be raised toward the $500,00 goal that has been set," Rizzo said, referring to the trust fund, account No. 1212280, established in Goggia's name at Alaska USA credit union.

The Drop of the Hat Players are holding their fund-raiser at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Kenai Senior Citizens Center. In addition to the comedic sketches, a baked good auction also will be conducted to raise money.

Ticket price for the event is a $5 donation. For more information, call 283-6109.

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