Greenwich teen publishers AJ Ink Designs are hosting their third fundraiser during the month of May. With “Cards for a Cause,” students are raising money for Off Beat Players, an inclusive theater company for young adults with wide ranging abilities and disabilities.
An original deck of 52 cards, designed by 17-year old Angela Zarrilli and her 13-year old sister Jacklyn Zarrilli.
The playing card designs reflect famous Broadway productions including Guys and Dolls, Grease, Mamma Mia, and Bye Bye Birdie. To promote the Cards for a Cause Broadway Deck, Angela and Jacklyn created a series of blog posts to record their fundraising experience.
“These blog posts are meant to document our fun design process and inspire others to fundraise on their own,” Angela said in a release.
“Besides the blog posts, we also created videos on YouTube,” said Angela’s sister Jacklyn. “So far, this seems to have worked to promote our project, as on the first day we sold four decks.”
In 2019 Angela, now a Senior at Greenwich High School headed to Carnegie Mellon in the fall, and Jacklyn, now a 7th grader at Western Middle School, hosted a successful fundraiser for the Women in Science Conference.
Through the sale of original t-shirts, mugs, notebooks, and pillows, AJ Ink helped to provide opportunities for women to gather in Shenzhen, China. As a result, thousands of female scientists were able to learn, speak, and ask questions in this predominantly male run industry.
The current fundraising effort for Cards for a Cause features cards printed with Broadway production character designs, and includes iconography from a Broadway play.
“To put on a play you need building materials, lighting equipment, script licensing, and more,” Angela said. “Since I am pursuing my dream of theater production, I want others to have the same amazing experiences.”
The Cards for a Cause fundraiser is taking place during the month of May, with a goal of raising $1,000 for Off Beat Players.
The funds will help to provide production staff, performance space rentals, and set design materials and tools.
Patrons have the option to purchase a digital NFT of each face card through OpenSea.io, physical decks through AJInkDesigns.com/store, or donate at /www.gofundme.com/obpcards.
In addition to the founders of AJ Ink, project supporters include Jennifer Zarrilli, Benefactor of AJ Ink, Phil Lohmeyer of The Comic Tree, Kim Malara of Off Beat Players, and Nicole Singson of The United States Playing Card Company.
“I’m so glad that we were able to be a part of the Off Beat Players’ journey, and it means so much to get support from people all over,” Angela said.