The Suffolk Theater raised $35,000 for humanitarian relief in Ukraine at its ALL FOR UKRAINE benefit concert Sunday.
All the money raised will go directly to three charities: Ukraine: UNICEF, Doctors Without Borders and the United Ukrainian American Relief Committee.
The theater’s staff and performers donated their time and talents for the benefit so that 100% of the show’s proceeds could go directly to the charities, the theater said.
The evening featured a silent art auction coordinated by the East End Arts Council and a raffle auction of items donated by local businesses, according to a press release. Guest speakers during the event were Father Bohdan Hedz, the pastor of the St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church in Riverhead, and Riverhead Supervisor Yvette Aguiar.
The artists who performed at the benefit included Bryan Gallo, Cassandra House, Mark MK McLaughlin, Taylor Barton, The HooDoo Loungers, Kerry Kearney Band, Amber Ferrari, Gene Casey & The Lone Sharks, Corky Laing and G.E. Smith. They all joined together with the audience for one final number by singing along to John Lennon’s “Give Peace A Chance.”
The businesses who donated their services to the fundraiser were: At Your Service Party Rental, Atlantis Banquets & Events, Birchwood of Polish Town, Cliff Rendezvous, Country Rotisserie, Cucina 25, Digger’s Ales N’ Eats, Darinka Signs, East Wind Long Island, Elegant Eats, Hyatt, Insatiable Eats, Pulaski Street Grille, Riverhead Beverage, Shadees Jamaican, Tri-Hamlet Cleaning, Turkuaz Grill and Tweed’s.
“To see the support from our Long Island community for this event has been nothing short of spectacular,” Suffolk Theater Executive Director Gary Hygom said. “Between all of those who bought tickets, the businesses that donated auction items, restaurants that donated food for the artists and crew, and even the companies that donated extra seats after the first time we sold out – this was a community effort on every level,” he said.
“You could feel the energy in the room; there was this mutual understanding that we were all doing what we could to help this deeply worthy cause. It was exciting; it was fun; it was emotional; and it was a huge success,” Hygom said.
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