Volunteer Spotlight: Beatrice Verdi and Phil Kuchinka
Former bandmates and longtime friends Beatrice Verdi and Phil Kuchinka are the Cancer Support Community’s musical dynamic duo, bringing the healing gift of song to our karaoke events for several years. “For someone dealing with cancer, the ability to forget about your stresses for a little while and live in the moment is such a gift,” says CscVvsb President Jim Campbell. “That is what Bea and Phil bring every time they visit us.”
Beatrice brings her beautiful voice and contagious cheer and encourages everyone, even the shy ones, to join the fun. Phil’s willingness to transport and operate his high-quality karaoke equipment allows people to choose any song they want for their own rock star experience.
Beatrice wanted to help the Cancer Support Community after losing her mother and sister to breast cancer more than fifteen years ago. When she stopped by to visit, she could feel the spirit of her mother, a singer and songwriter, urging her to bring music to the organization. She offered her time and talents, encouraged Phil to join, and that turned into the popular karaoke events.
During their time volunteering, Beatrice and Phil have made friendships and gotten to know many CscVvsb members and staff, including VP of Programs Jody Tompkins and Program Assistant Kaley Moore. “I am so thankful for the love and support of Jody and Kaley. They are so wonderful,” says Beatrice.
Growing up, Beatrice always wanted to follow in her mother’s musical footsteps. She sang in church choirs where her mother was the organist, and to this day she performs with her band in casinos, summer festivals, and community organizations like CscVvsb and the VA Hospital. Phil is also a supporter of the Relay for Life event in Moorpark and the Special Olympics.
Beatrice and Phil have entertained Cancer Support Community members at several years’ worth of events, including Kids Circle Ice Cream Socials, Oktoberfest, and Karaoke Nights. Most recently they hosted a Karaoke Ice Cream Social for the Bilingual Kids Circle group at St. John’s Hospital. You can view photos here. “Every time I do karaoke with the Kids Circle group, I see them come out of their shells, express themselves, and get their minds off anything that’s negative or sad,” says Beatrice. “I wish I could do it every day of my life, just to see them shine.”