January 2023
Karen and Darin Bowman

ALS may have taken my ability to play the piano and direct a handbell choir, but it can never steal my passion for music. I’ve always been a sucker for Broadway musicals, and the Phantom of the Opera is one of my all-time favorites. I was first introduced to the Andrew Lloyd Webber phenomenon in college, when the chorale for which I was the pianist performed a medley of Phantom tunes. I’ve loved it ever since.
Thank you to Team Gleason – and to the organization’s generous donors – for sending my husband, Darin, and me to New York City to see the Phantom of the Opera at the Majestic Theatre. It was so special to say goodbye in person to this show as it gets ready to close after a 35-year run on Broadway. The week that we were there, Phantom welcomed its 20 millionth audience member. So exciting to be a part of that historical milestone!
During our trip, we stayed in the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel, right in Times Square.

We met up with a college friend who lives just a couple blocks away from the hotel and had a wonderful visit.

He introduced us to Junior’s Restaurant, which is famous for its cheesecake.

We definitely sampled the cheesecake (several flavors!), but I still find myself craving the restaurant’s loaded potato pancakes we ate for breakfast two days in a row!

In addition to exploring the neighborhood, we took in a show at the Gotham City Comedy Club and saw “Wicked” at the Gershwin Theatre. Loved it! 

We were honored to be among those selected for a Team Gleason Adventure.

Not only did we make memories for a lifetime, but we also had a chance to slow down, take a break from the day-to-day grind of work and parenting responsibilities, and just spend time together. It was wonderful.

Thanks again for all this organization does for people with ALS and their families. No White Flags!