Students came to the “A Night on Brookway” event on March 23 to donate to the Broadway Cares fundraising organization and to enjoy some Broadway entertainment.
The night was organized by the University Scholars Program. The University Scholars Program is a group of high acheiveing students at Stony Brook. Students in the program make connections with faculty and obtain research and leadership opportunities on campus.
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is one of the nation’s leading industry-based, non-profit AIDS grant-making organizations. The group uses Broadway music and performances to raise money for those who are fighting against HIV/AIDS.
“The Night on Brookway event came out of a SCH 101 student group project proposal last fall, so this is the first time we are hosting the event,” Jeremy Marchese, advisor and senior staff assistant for the University Scholars program, said.
Arianne Shapiro, the host of the event, introduced the event and discussed how the fundraiser works and how they use Broadway to do it.
“This project was very important to me, and I got the email saying that my project was chosen, I started to cry a little bit,” Shapiro said.
“One of the reasons why we chose this charity is because it’s very significant and I’m very passionate about Broadway and theater in general,” Shapiro said.
The first performance began with Shapiro singing “Thank You For The Music” from “Mamma Mia!” with singer/songwriter Amanda Jayne on guitar. Things started to get loud when the cast of “American Idiot” came to the stage. The cast performed a musical number. When the music stopped, everyone was at the edge of their seats.
In between performances, Shapiro announced the winners of the raffle for prizes. Some of the prizes included a box of Munchkins and signed posters.
Later on, Isabella Perez-Pecchio, a representative of AIDS Peer Education, gave a keynote speech about how the group works to help those who are in need. Those effected by various illnesses took the stage to help encourage people to fight against AIDS and HIV and support the cause. When the speech ended, members of the “American Idiot” cast came on stage and performed songs from “Legally Blonde” and “Rent.”
After the second round of the raffle, Mr. Feffer’s Improv Troupe took the stage and entertained the audience with their comedy. The performance revolved around a comedic audition. The audience flooded the ballroom with laughter.
The final performance of the evening was from “Swallow This!” an on campus theater group that reads stories to help prevent alcohol, drugs and suicide on campus. The stories that they told to the crowd were called “The Unanimous It” and “Safety and Sexy.”
“We’re hoping to raise $1,000 for Broadway Cares,” Marchese said.
When the night came to a close, the event had surpassed its goal and fundraised $1,700 for the fundraiser.
FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: MATTHEW MENDOZA/FLICKR