Fundraiser for family of teen killed after leaving Florida State Fair

Tampa, Florida - A play is being held to raise money for the family of 14-year-old Andrew Joseph III. On Friday, February 7, Andrew died after he was hit by an SUV while he reportedly tried running across Interstate 4.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office says a few hours before it happened, their deputies kicked him out of the Florida State Fair for disorderly conduct.

Andrew's family held two funerals for him. One funeral was held in Valrico while the other was held in New Orleans, where the family is from. Andrew was laid to rest in his cap and gown since he was gearing up to graduate from the 8th grade at St. Stephen Catholic School.

Andrew's mother is a volunteer at the Kairoi Performing Arts and Cultural Center at 7629 N. 56th Street in Tampa, and that's where the play, Distorted Love, is being held this week. A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to Andrew's family. The doors open at 7 pm. and the play starts at 7:30 p.m.

The plays runs each night through Saturday, March 29 and may be held over another week depending on the turnout. Saturday will also have a matinee showing 3 p.m., with doors opening at 2:30. Admission is $12 in advance.

Distorted Love is a dramatic stage play that organizers say is family-friendly. It's a play about three generations of females from the Cantrell family. They pride themselves on all their accomplishments, degrees and financial statuses while all alone covering up family secrets, lies and deceptions.

The cast of the play are all native northerners. The writer, producer, and director is Charlayne Henry, who now lives in Tampa. She is the founder and CEO of Kairoi Performing Arts Cultural Center, Inc. and was the first African American female to open a Performing Arts Center in Pittsburgh, PA.

Natalia Henry is a native of Pittsburgh, PA and recently spent two years in Tampa, where she graduated from University of South Florida with her Bachelors of Science in Speech Language Sciences.

Fatima Hedgeman, is a native and current resident of Philadelphia, PA. She first started acting in a play written by Charlayne Henry entitled, "There's No Secret What Prayer Will Do" when she was 8 years old.


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