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Drs. O’Malley and Ryder honored by Provincetown Community Compact at Peregrine Theatre Swim for Life Benefit, August 8.

Drs. Brian O’Malley and Wilsa Ryder honored by Provincetown Community Compact at Peregrine Theatre Benefit for The Compact’s 30th Swim for Life, August 8.

Sponsored by Berta Walker Gallery.

The Provincetown Community Compact will honor Drs. Brian O’Malley and Wilsa Ryder on Tuesday, August 8 at 7:30 pm at a benefit performance of Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens**, at Fishermen Hall, sponsored by Berta Walker Gallery. Peregrine Theatre Ensemble, producer of the one-night-only performance, celebrates the 30th year of the Swim for Life. Tickets are available at PeregrineTheatre.com

Peregrine Theatre Ensemble, with Adam Berry as executive director and Ben Berry as artistic director, is supported by The Compact’s Think-ubator program. The Compact is directed by Jay Critchley.

The benefit will also debut a short documentary of the Swim for Life, Prayer Ribbons by Lise King, and their journey to Capitol Hill in Washington, DC for World AIDS Day and to Orlando, Florida to meet with the families of the victims of the nightclub shooting.

Brian and Wilsa, who are both retired, will receive The Compact Long Point Award. They practiced community medicine for forty years with the Provincetown Medical Group, adapting to many changes in the town and the challenges of the medical profession. With so few children remaining in town for Wilsa’s pediatric practice, and the increasing burden of paperwork, it was time for a change. Wilsa was Provincetown School physician in the early 1980s and was the first chair of the Cecelia Francis Scholarship Fund for Provincetown High School Seniors.

Brian diagnosed the first case of HIV in the community and over three decades later he is championing the town’s planned AIDS Memorial as a member of the Cultural Council. He is also a major voice in health care reform on Cape Cod and in the state.

Brian proposed and led the Cape Care Coalition, to advocate for a community-owned health plan for all Cape Codders. He has long served as a physician leader, since 1999 as a Trustee for Cape Cod Health Care, and then as a Director of the Cape Cod Preferred Physicians. He is also on the advisory board for the state’s Mass-Care organization looking to create a single payer, Medicare-for-All insurance system, at a time of anxiety about the future of Obamacare.

A community and peace activist at heart and a democratic socialist supporter of Bernie Sanders, he also represents the town at the Barnstable County Assemble of Delegates. He introduced a visionary Cape Cod Bill of Rights bill that would recognize the legal rights of the natural environment to remain unspoiled and uncontaminated, but in a close vote, was not passed on the first submission.

Other recipients of The Compact Long Point Award include Roslyn Garfield, Joe Stewart and Bill Silvestri.

The Provincetown Swim for Life & Paddler Flotilla is set for September 9. For information for swimmers, kayakers, boaters and volunteers go to www.swim4life.org

 

**Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens is a song cycle with music by Janet Hood and lyrics and additional text by Bill Russell. The work features songs and monologues inspired by the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt and Edgar Lee Masters’ Spoon River Anthology. Each of the monologues is written from the perspective of characters who’ve died from AIDS and the songs represent the feelings of friends and family members dealing with the loss. It was first produced in 1989.

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