Harbor Lights Theater Honors Steadfast Supporters at Show/Fundraiser

"Since 2010 Harbor Lights Theater Company has been fulfilling our mission to illuminate the human experience, one performance at a time, by producing plays and musicals in beautifully designed, professional productions featuring Broadway talent here on Staten Island.

"While our lights shine brightly on stage, behind the scenes we have heroes who keep those lights shining. Our fundraising event this year will present 5 Broadway artists in an evening of extraordinary singing and dancing and hilarious and heartwarming backstage stories. We thought this was the perfect place to honor two of the people who have steadfastly supported Harbor Lights from behind the scenes over the years." Said Tamara Jenkins, Co-founder and Executive Artistic Director.

Hollywood Producer and Past Board Chairman Julius Nasso will receive Harbor Lights "Culture Award" for his contributions to culture in our borough, which include the creation of The Staten Island Film Festival, and over five years of service to Harbor Lights, including a term as Board President.

Long time Board member Michelle DeSantis will receive the Harbor Lights "Community Service Award " for her decades of services to the Staten Island Community with work at The Chamber of Commerce and Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden, and service on many boards, including currently The Staten Island Ballet, The Carmine and Robert DeSantis Charitable Foundation, and Harbor Lights," said Tamara Jenkins, executive director, founder and Artistic Director of Harbor Lights.

"We look forward to celebrating these two outstanding individuals on this exciting night of extraordinary song, dance, and fun. If you have ever been to one of these fundraising performances at Harbor Lights, you know it's a do not miss event!" Jenkins adds.

Tickets for the performance are $60 and $65. A $95 VIP ticket includes a $65 VIP seating ticket and a reception following the two hour performance with the Stars and honorees. Sponsorships and ads are also available

Call 718.273.7516 for Tickets Ads and Sponsorship Opportunities . Go to www.hltc.org for more information.

AND THE HONOREES ARE...

Michelle DeSantis, born in Brooklyn, New York, moved along with her family to Dongan Hills in Staten Island as an infant. Michelle began her career at Snug Harbor Cultural Center in Marketing and Public Relations and went on to work in marketing for the Rouse Company, a major mall developer throughout the country. There she discovered her interest in volunteering as she began serving the March of Dimes and eventually co-chaired the Bid for Bachelors for approximately three years. She also worked with Fran Huber Executive Director of the Staten Island Botanical Gardens to establish an interactive natural setting in the Staten Island Mall's Center Court.

In 1990, Michelle took a position with the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce as Vice President of Marketing and Communications. During her tenure there, she began volunteering on various boards including Historic RichmondTown, where she worked to preserve the Perine House. She also enjoyed working with Snug Harbor Cultural Center for the Neptune Ball, for Eger Nursing Home's taste of Staten Island, and for United Activities Unlimited where she served as Vice President. After her children were born her volunteer efforts shifted to her children's schools, first at the Academy of St. Dorothy where she served on various committees including Chairing their major fundraiser and Monsignor Farrell assisting as a Football and Wrestling Team Mom. Michelle also went back to her roots at Notre Dame Academy where she assisted on the committee for their capital campaign.

Michelle has also worked in Marketing and Sales for the Royal Press.
Currently,in addition to being a member of the Board of The Harbor Lights Theater Company, Michelle serves as a Board member of the Family- operated Carmine & Robert DeSantis Charitable Foundation, founded in 2002 to "help children on Staten Island with special needs, one child a time." In this venue, she revues clients' contracts to deem their eligibility for funding for goods and/or services not covered by insurance. The Organization funds approximately $100,000 annually and operates solely on a volunteer basis. Additionally, Michelle is board member of the Staten Island Ballet with special efforts on the Snowball, the Ballet's major fundraiser. She has most recently created the Sugar Plum Fair, an additional fund raising supplement for the Ballet. Michelle continues to volunteer for Notre Dame Academy, inducting high school graduates into the Alumni Association with a speech to the Graduating classes.

A resident of Dongan Hill Michelle is married to Carmine DeSantis and they have two children Matthew and Alexandra.

Julius Nasso, a Staten Island resident is producer of action blockbusters over the last 20 years, including Under Siege, Out for Justice, The Getaway and Narc.

Jules began his career in the medical industry. He holds an advanced Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Connecticut. While attending college in 1974, he founded Universal Marine Medical Supply. Co. (UMMSC), which is now the largest international medical supply company servicing cruise ships, oil rigs, super yachts, merchant vessels, tankers, and freighters. Julius is currently CEO of UMMSC. which maintains offices in New York, Miami. Houston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Southampton England, Singapore and Athens.

In 1978, along with Xavier Roberts, he capitalized on the the worldwide Cabbage Patch craze by opening the Cabbage Patch Bab-yland General Hospital Store, formerly located on 41st Street and 5th Avenue in Manhattan. At Babyland General Hospital Julius met Steve Ross, then CEO of Time Warner, who became instrumental in Julius' acquisition of an overall production deal at Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank, California.

In 1980. while continuing his career in pharmaceutical distribution, Julius accepted a position as a personal assistant to director Sergio Leone developing projects with Leone that led him to produce a television pilot for a Fox TV show and has since then produced dozens of films that included award winning actors and film icons.

Jules had a 17-year producing partnership with Warner Brothers Studios, where Julius was responsible for producing a series of action blockbusters including: Hard to Kill (1990). Marked for Death (1990), Out for Justice (1991), Under Siege (1992), On Deadly Ground (1994), Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995), The Glimmer Man (1996), Fire Down Below (1997) and The Patriot (1998).

He co-founded Manhattan Pictures and Julius R. Nasso Productions and produced and distributed films starring Kate Winslet, Kathleen Turner, Danny Aiello, Cathy Moriarty, Jerry Orbach, Armand Assante, Chazz Palminteri and many others.

Julius' most acclaimed achievement is his production of Narc (2002), starring Jason Patric, Ray Liotta, and Busta Rhymes, which was nominated for the Sundance Film Festival's Grand Jury Award and won the Special Prize Policier Award at the Cognac Film Festival in France.

Since 2006, Julius has been working as Harry Belafonte's producer on a number of projects which has earned him the 2012 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Documentary. He is a 20-year Directors Guild of America member and a highly respected philanthropist, having been honored by countless civic leaders and institutions for his tireless charitable works.

Photo: Julius Nasso and Chazz Palminteri at The Bronx Tale, one-man-show based upon iconic film and Broadway production presented by the Harbor Lights Theater Company.


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