Article provided by: Lori Rubinstein, Behind the Scenes Charity

The Long Reach Long Riders (LRLR) celebrated their upcoming ride with a raffle and live auction to benefit Behind the Scenes on the Expo Floor in Louisville at USITT19. A myriad of activities including sales of raffle tickets, a live and silent auction, challenge grants, swag sales, and sales of Neal Preston’s books, posters and prints raised over $18,000 for the charity. The LRLR 2019 ride, dubbed the Altimeter Tour, begins on July 7 in Denver, Co. The riders cover all their own expenses so everything they raise goes to the charity. Sponsor a rider today.

The booth featured a display of some of The Lightpower Collection’s iconic photographs by Neal Preston including those of Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Robert Plant, Bob Marley, Ray Charles, and others. Neal’s books “In the Eye of the Rock’n’Roll Hurricane” and “Exhilarated and Exhausted” and posters of some of his most famous images were also available for sale.

Raffle festivities led off with the traditional kazoo parade led by Bill Sapsis and Eddie Raymond (yes, they were the T-Rex’s), and many of the LRLR. Following the parade, BTS Pledge-a-Product partners ETC (irFR and aRFR application for iOS and Android devices), ACT Lighting (The dot2 Series of Lighting Control Solutions from MA Lighting) and InCord (Theatrical Safety Netting Systems) presented checks from the sales of their products pledged to BTS.

Live auction items included a hand-tooled seam ripper and serving tray created by Shan and Trish Ayers, a special pack of Amberient’s industry trading cards that included a signed Richard Pilbrow Rookie card, and a handcrafted pen and pencil set donated by Indianapolis Stage in association with Amberient also held a silent auction in their booth throughout the show featuring custom furniture made from old lighting equipment including a recliner made from a Kliegl Dyna-Beam. Bob Scales’ ever-popular ghost lights were sold out by the end of the show.

Bill Sapsis (Sapsis Rigging) and Reid Neslage (H&H Specialties) announced their challenge grant to the crowd just before the raffle began and the attendees ponied up to make sure they had to pay.

The winners and their prizes are:

  • Grand Prize, Vectorworks Spotlight with Renderworks won by Matthew Easley
  • BTS Ghostlight from Altman Rentals won by Sara Gable
  • $250 American Express Gift Card from Barbizon won by Christian McKinney
  • Prostar 300lb capacity 115 volt, 10 feet lift with chain bag won by Carolyn Satter
  • Event Safety Summit 2019 Registration from Event Safety Alliance won by Jennifer Estremera
  • Nespresso CitiZ Espresso Machine with Milk Frother won by Paul Winnick
  • Stagehands Dream Kit from Monkey Wrench Productions won by Kim Pelle
  • $250 Gift Certificate to from Musson Theatrical won by Alexi Carlson
  • $250 Gift Certificate from Sapsis Rigging won by Heather Brown
  • USITT 2019 Full Conference Registration from USITT won by John Mitchell

Special thanks go to USITT for making our presence at the show possible; to The Lightpower Collection, Neal Preston, Giulia Calani and Shepard for making the exhibition of Neal’s work possible;  to Moe Conn, Kim Craigie, Mark and Alison Heiser, Alice Neff, Greg Williams, and Bill Sapsis, for their invaluable help; to the donors of our fabulous prizes; and to all who bought raffle tickets, auction items, and swag.

All proceeds go to the Behind the Scenes charity which assists entertainment technology industry professionals or their immediate family members who are ill or injured. For more information about Behind the Scenes, to donate, or to apply for a grant, visit For more information about the Long Reach Long Riders visit

Get the inside scoop of what the Long Reach Long Riders experience each year during their annual charity motorcycle ride in this feature from USITT.