Archive for the tag 'benefits'

Participants took the stage as the winners were announced. (Photo by Yuval Kagan)

Participants took the stage as the winners were announced. (Photo by Yuval Kagan)

Remember that awesome SING! competition we told you about last month? Brooklyn Sings!, an inter-SING event in which students from Midwood, Madison and Murrow high schools competed against each other for best student-created stage production, took place this past Saturday and students raised more than $20,000 to donate to the American Cancer Society.

According to organizers, the event made history as the largest one-night fundraiser for the Bergen Beach, Mill Basin and Marine Park Relay for Life team, with that boatload of money raised through ticket sales, raffles and direct donations.

Edward R. Murrow High School’s team won the event, with a show that brought seniors and freshman together to defeat an evil villain in “MurrowWarts.” Madison entertained with a trip to Toyland, and Midwood took the audience 10 years forward for a terrifying reunion. Every bit of the production was student-created.

A huge hurrah for the students at these three schools. They all worked hard, and for a great cause.

Photo by Erica Sherman

Three major Southern Brooklyn high schools are banding together to hold the first-ever inter-SING! competition, called Brooklyn Sings!, to benefit the American Cancer Society.

As any Brooklyn public high school graduate knows, SING! competitions can dominate school culture, bringing in students at every level to plan and produce a musical-production based on a different theme each year. The grades compete against each other for bragging rights.

What many may not know is that SING!, now a phenomenon at high schools across the greater New York City area, is a distinctly Southern Brooklyn creation, first established at Midwood High School in 1947 by music teacher Bella Tillis. The 1989 film Sing is based on the Brooklyn traditions, and SING! alumni include Barbra Streisand, Paul Simon, Tim Robbins, Paul Reiser and Neil Diamond.

Midwood, Madison and Murrow are all well-known for their grandiose productions that can involve hundreds of students.

Brooklyn Sings!, the inter-school event, is being created to benefit the American Cancer Society. It was conceived by the Bergen Beach, Mill Basin and Marine Park Relay for Life team and one of its organizers, Joe Gillette.

“Our Relay for Life team is so thankful to each of these amazing schools for taking on BROOKLYN SINGS!  We know this event will be great for all the talented students, the schools and the community as a whole as we all unite and give of ourselves for a worthy cause,” Gillete said in a press release. “We encourage anyone who wants to get involved with our Relay for Life organization to join us as we strive to make a difference in our schools and community.”

“SING began in Midwood in 1947.  Mrs. Belle Tillis (who passed away last year 15 days shy of her 100th birthday) is credited with bringing SING to Midwood,” said Midwood Principal Michael McDonnell. “For the last 60 + years, our student body has sung, danced and acted their way towards winning the annual SING competition.  In fact the organizers of all the schools’ SINGs were Midwood students who had participated in Midwood SING.  So it is with great honor and responsibility that along with the help of Relay for Life, we get to “throw down the gauntlet” to our neighboring schools.”

Anyone interested in supporting one of the school’s fundraising efforts for the ACS can make a tax deductible donation by visiting the team page of their favorite school.

For Midwood visit;
For Madison visit
For Murrow visit

The event will be held March 8 at 6 p.m. at Edward R. Murrow High School (1600 Avenue L). Tickets will be sold through each school, and go one sale February 24.

From our friends at the Knights of Columbus Council #126. They write:

Sean Casey’s Animal Rescue located in Brooklyn, New York is a not for profit organization whose endeavor is to aid unfortunate animals in the interest of a higher quality of life. They take in rescued, confiscated, neglected, injured, ill, unmanageable, or otherwise unwanted animals from private owners, zoos, shelters, and other public organizations. These animals are cared for, and/or rehabilitated to the best of their ability and means until which time they can be found healthy, happy homes – whether it be through adoption to qualified candidates or legally released into habitats suitable to the specific species in conjunction with licensed wildlife rehabilitators.

Tom "Daddy Rocker" Moran during last year's 10th anniversary 9/11 Memorial at Bill Brown Park. Photo by Erica Sherman

Canarsie-born recording artist, Tom “Daddy Rocker” Moran, along with his group the Brooklyn South Band, are joining forces with The Meyer Rossabi Band and Off The Record to present a special musical fundraiser, May 5, to benefit Autism Speaks. The charity performance will be held at the Tamaqua Marina, 84 Ebony Court, in Gerritsen Beach.

“How often does my world center on my problems and I forget to help others in need,” asked Moran, a recovering alcoholic, whose unique music blends facets of country and rock ’n roll. “I’m in a great position as a performer with an inspirational message to give back to those in need. Our focus today is to be of service to others and to put on an amazing show. I want to thank the other bands for participating in this special event.”

The Meyer Rossabi Band performs from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., followed by Off The Record from 7:45 to 8:45 p.m. and Daddy Rocker & The Brooklyn South Band from 9:00 to 10:00 p.m.

Autism Speaks is the nation’s largest autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. To learn more about Autism Speaks, go to the organization’s website at

Admission to the concert is a $20 donation; $10 for children under 12 years of age. Tickets can be purchased at To learn more, call the Tamaqua Marina at (718) 646-9212 or visit their website at

DJ Johnny Versache of OPM helps inscribe the Sefer Torah / Source: Alex Gorokhov of Glatt Photography for

What makes DJ Johnny Versache different from all other DJ’s?

Well, for one thing, the disc jockey over at OPM Restaurant and Ultra Lounge, 3202 Emmons Avenue, dedicated a new Sefer Torah during a gala dinner benefiting Camp F.R.E.E. – the Gan Israel Scholarship Fund.

The highlight of the event was the commencement of a new Sefer Torah, dedicated by the well-known New York DJ Johnny Versache (Zachariah).

Supporters of the camp in attendance were honored with the writing of the first letters.

Rabbi Dan Dashevsky, the camp’s administrator, told a beautiful story comparing a Jew to a living Torah Scroll and presented the dinner awards together with the camp director, Rabbi Mendel Okunov.

Rabbi Meir Okunov, the chairman of F.R.E.E. awarded Rabbi Shlomo Galperin for the 40 years of dedication to Jewish education. Young professionals and businessmen were entertained by popular comedian Modi.

Recently garnering not such glowing feedback from seniors at a nearby retirement home, hosting a benefit for youngsters to be able to attend Camp F.R.E.E. – Gan Israel is a cause worth making a little noise over.


Ten dollars. Eleven bands. Helping thousands.

Cha Cha’s in Coney Island (1229 Riegelman Boardwalk) is hosting Rock Against Dystrophy, a balls-to-the-wall rock-out to raise money for one of the least rockin’ diseases afflicting man - muscular dystrophy. And it’s not all just head-banging bards – you can also meet some of the cast members of HBO’s legendary show The Sopranos (organizers aren’t saying which ones).

The event kicks off at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 2.

The show is sponsored by BullSpike Radio and Kipp Elbaum, and all proceeds go to the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

View the complete list of bands and the event’s flier.

More than 250 people turned out to Jamsterdam, the autism awareness concert organized by Sheepshead Bites veteran Samantha LoSapio.

The event kicked off at noon on July 9, stretching throughout the day until the last band played the final note just before 8 p.m.

Jamsterdam took place at Asser-Levy / Seaside Park, and was hampered by the hubbub around the proposed amphitheater. Because of the ban on amplified sound that is being enforced for the first time in years, organizers were denied use of the band shell just days before the event. They were given permission to set up a makeshift stage at the other end of the park.

LoSapio said the event was a success and she’s looking forward to doing more cultural events in the area to benefit various causes, including a possible comedy show in the near future. If you’re interested in getting involved with this terrific grassroots effort, drop us a line and we’ll get you in touch with the Jamsterdam crew.

View the Jamsterdam 2010 gallery

Remember Samantha LoSapio? Sam wrote several articles for Sheepshead Bites, and over the last few months she’s been busy organizing Jamsterdam, a benefit concert for Autism Speaks. The free show will take place in Asser-Levy Seaside Park on Friday, July 9, featuring ten bands representing several genres.

But that’s not the whole story: this awesome concept of bringing good local music to the neighborhood and raising awareness of an important cause was almost squashed by the ongoing legal debacle surrounding BP Markowitz’s Seaside Summer Concerts. But enough of my yammering, we’ll let Sam tell you the story.

We all know Sheepshead Bay’s music scene is less than a blip on the radar. With the scene booming just about everywhere else, it’s hard to believe we don’t have a single reliable venue.

Despite that, some of us just refuse to give up on the idea – even when threatened by lawsuits. My brother, Cory, and I are organizing a concert to take place July 9 in Coney Island’s Asser Levy/Seaside Park.

Jamsterdam, a benefit concert for Autism Speaks, will feature eight NYC bands and two bands making the special trip in from Pennsylvania, and has been funded entirely by us and Vile, from headlining band Circadian Clock. We had bartered for a PA from Brooklyn Audio Rentals, helping ease costs, up until we were smacked with near-devastating news: the court order giving Marty Markowitz’s Seaside Concerts a headache would be the very same one to threaten Jamsterdam.

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