ALAMEDA -- Students at Encinal High School invite community members to a Friday variety show being held in support of senior Annika Mullings.
Mullings, 17, had extensive bleeding in her brain in October and remains in a coma-like state, friends and supporters said.
The family has been able to raise funds for many of her health care costs, but would benefit greatly from further support, according to Elizabeth Duncan, who organized the event with fellow Encinal High senior Emma Finn. The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Encinal High School.
"The 'Night for Annika' will be a variety show with lots of acting, singing, dancing, music, comedy and other entertainment," Duncan said. "The program is full of student acts, and school staff members are helping, too."
Encinal High students will sing, as well as act out monologues and scenes from plays. A group of teachers will perform as a band.
"We have been recruiting faculty and students, as well as a poetry-slam volunteer and Encinal High graduates," Duncan said. "There will be many different performing arts to share. And Annika will be there, too."
Most of the performances will be lighthearted, she noted, though some songs "may be a bit emotional."
Mullings has been involved in drama, leadership, music and other activities at Encinal High. "Her favorite class is French, and she even got to visit France last summer with her mother and her now 16-year-old brother, Xavi," Duncan said. "She is improving."
The health condition that affected Mullings is known as a brain arteriovenous malformation or AVN, an abnormal connection between arteries and veins that is congenital. Mullings was hospitalized from October to December, when her family had to relocate to accommodate her need for a wheelchair. The family has raised close to two-thirds of Mullings' $30,000 health care costs.
"The concert will help them close the gap," Duncan explained.
"The May 2 event is a great example of the community Encinal has always had," said English teacher Gene Kahane. "When students or teachers go through difficult times, we have seen people come together. Earlier this year, a student who graduated several years ago and joined the military passed away, and we held a ceremony and reached out to the family to offer support. It goes to the spirit and community of the high school."
Community members who are not able to attend tonight's event may donate online at http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/helping-annika-heal/119478.
What: "Night for Annika," a variety show and benefit for senior Annika Mullings
When: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Where: Encinal High School, 210 Central Ave., Alameda