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Bay Street Presents $6,000 Check To JBJ Soul Kitchen Food Bank

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Bay Street Presents $6,000 Check To JBJ Soul Kitchen Food Bank

Bay Street Theater & Sag Harbor Center for the Arts has announced the presentation of a $6,000 check to JBJ Soul Kitchen Food Bank in Wainscott, raised as a portion of the donations received during the one-night-only Starry Night Gala Telethon, which aired virtually at Bay Street Theater committed a percentage of the evening's proceeds to JBJ Soul Kitchen Food Bank, which has provided meals for thousands of food-insecure families across the South Fork since it launched in May of this year.

"As the pandemic raged, and the food pantry lines kept growing-with cars literally snaking down the road for miles-we simply had to do something to help. It felt like an obvious choice to be sure our neighbors were receiving basic food necessities," stated Tracy Mitchell, Bay Street's Executive Director who put forth the idea.

The JBJ Soul Foundation operated the food distribution center at the JBJ Soul Kitchen Food Bank between May and September in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to their mission, their initial commitment was to purchase and supply food for 5,000 individuals monthly for four months, at a time when many food pantries were seeing a 500 percent increase in the need for food. In their 18 weeks of food distribution, they delivered more than 200 tons of healthy, shelf-stable food, along with produce, dairy products, and handmade frozen meals, to eight pantries on the East End of Long Island. At just one pantry, the food provided through the JBJ Soul Foundation helped feed over 10,705 residents from May 17 to September 1.

The 29th annual Starry Night Gala Telethon was a virtual celebration of the Broadway musicals of the 1970s, and paid comedic homage to the celebrity telethon specials popular at the time. The evening included a script written by playwright Scooter Pietsch, whose comedy, Windfall, was scheduled to be staged for its world premiere during the 2020 Mainstage Season, and filming and editing by Rich Ficara, a Director of Photography and Editor with more than 25 years of broadcast news experience.

Throughout the evening, special guests performed numbers from some of Broadway's biggest musicals of the 1970s, including A Chorus Line, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Godspell, Pippin, Sweeney Todd, Pacific Overtures, A Little Night Music, and The Wiz. Key Performers included Raul Esparza, Ben Vereen, Melissa Errico, Betty Buckley, André De Shields, Josh Young, Hunter Parrish, Trent Saunders, Arianna Rosario, Omar Lopez-Cepero, and many others. The host for the evening was actor and member of Bay Street Theater's Board of Trustees, Richard Kind.

Bay Street Theater is a year-round, not-for-profit professional theater and community cultural center, which endeavors to innovate, educate, and entertain a diverse community through the practice of the performing arts. It serves as a social and cultural gathering place, an educational resource, and a home for a community of artists.

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