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In 2015, upon the 20th anniversary of our founding, Cabaret for Life initiated a Hall of Fame.   The first inductees into the Hall of Fame are all individuals whose support, talent and dedication have made a last impact on the future of our organization.


Dr. Herbert & Mrs. Evelyn Axelrod

Long-time patrons of the arts in New Jersey and New York, the Axelrods have been major benefactors of Cabaret for Life since our inception.   Their continued annual financial contributions have helped to sustain and heighten the work the CFL does every year.   As a violin aficionado and collector, Dr. Axelrod has made an indelible mark on the world of stringed instruments and his enthusiasm has led the Axelrods to fund CFL’s most extravagant musical happenings including Ragtime and Titanic with full orchestras at the Axelrod Performing Arts Center and our Stage Door Canteen Veterans Day benefit with a 25-piece swing band.


John & Carole Hessels

The Founders of Cabaret for Life with Andrew DePrisco and Fred Mayo, the Hessels helped to launch this grassroots organization with their time, talent and resources for many years.   Carole was CFL’s first secretary, mailing list keeper, and constant volunteer, while John was our first treasurer, set builder, cook and bottle washer (literally), and mentor.   Without the Hessels, Cabaret for Life would have remained just a great idea that sprung to the minds of four good friends in a “local gin mill” on the Jersey Shore.


John C. Rodriguez

A Cabaret for Life board member for the last five years of his life, John generously shared his talents, children, family and unending energy with our organization.   John was a singer-songwriter, set and graphic designer, visionary artist and amazing friend to all of us at CFL.   All three of his children — Annie, Jesse and Maggie — have performed on the CFL stage, and his wife Bonnie Carolan remains an active Trustee on our Board.   With the support of the Rodriguez family, CFL offered an annual scholarship in John’s name for ten years.

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