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Step into the Spotlight Soiree & Talent Competition Announces Updates

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This extraordinary evening of entertainment takes place from 6 to 10 p.m. at Jack Baker's Lobster Shanty in Point Pleasant, NJ.

Step into the Spotlight Soiree & Talent Competition Announces Updates

New talent has been added, honorees have been announced, and an exciting premiere performance will take place at the Fourth Annual Step into the Spotlight Soiree & Talent Competition on Thursday, December 2, 2021 to benefit the Zzak G. Applaud Our Kids (AOK) Foundation! This extraordinary evening of entertainment takes place from 6 to 10 p.m. at Jack Baker's Lobster Shanty in Point Pleasant, NJ, with amateur and professional performers showcasing their talent for renowned celebrity judges from TV, film, the music industry, and Broadway to vie for a cash prize, the Zzak G. Spotlight Award, and an Audience Choice Award. The presenting sponsor for the evening is the Grunin Foundation.

ADDITIONAL CONTESTANT FOR TALENT COMPETITION

Zachary Blonski loves to sing and dance and currently takes vocal lessons at Big Beat Music School in Neptune City, NJ, where he has performed in their annual showcase. He has won both the Thomas Ballman Memorial Performing Arts Award and the New Jersey Governor's Award for Dance in 2017. Zachary sings in an adult choir and has earned a yellow belt, so far, in his traditional karate lessons. Zachary is autistic and attends Prime Time Center in Eatontown, NJ, an organization that enables adults with learning and developmental disabilities to live independent lives. Through his natural gifts and perseverance, along with love and support from his family, friends, and other dedicated individuals, he continues to achieve many outstanding goals.

Zachary Blonski is the latest in the lineup of this year's talented adult contestants, which also includes vocalist and dancer Olivia Renkel; vocalist and songwriter EĐĐIE; opera singer and actor Raquel Nobile; musical performer and educator Emily Chant; actor, writer, and professional ballroom dancer Matt Mancuso, musical actor and vocalist Ashley LaLonde; vocalist and dancer Laurie Huryk, RN, and award-winning competitive dance partners Jose Antonio Romero and Kara Gurrieri.

HONOREES ANNOUNCED

Throughout the year, the Zzak G. Applaud Our Kids Foundation receives tremendous support in many ways from individuals, businesses, and organizations. With deepest appreciation, AOK will present the following awards at this year's Step into the Spotlight Soiree & Talent Competition:

· Creating More Smiles Award - OceanFirst Foundation

· Media Spotlight Award - Lou Russo, DJ at 94.3 The Point

· Kindness Award - Kate Courter

SPECIAL PREMIERE PERFORMANCE

You don't want to miss this! The 2021 Step into the Spotlight Soiree & Talent Competition will also feature a special premiere performance by Fredi Walker-Brown, who played the original JoAnne Jefferson in the beloved Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway musical, "Rent." She will debut the title song from her new album, "#1PeoplePlanet" along with rapper and actor Denzel "Zel" Rodriguez, who was the winner of last year's talent competition. Zel's latest project was an appearance in "The Last O.G." with Tracy Morgan.

CELEBRITY JUDGES

Lending their support will be a team of renowned celebrities from Broadway, television, film, and music that includes music industry executive director Nick Cucci; actor, director, creator, and arts educator and advocate Fredi Walker-Browne; dancer, choreographer, and dance educator Amanda Papa; rap artist and composer Denzel "Zel" Rodriguez; advertising, marketing, and event production expert Diana "Dee" Pellegrino; Broadway and concert producer and international designer Joseph John Brunetti; actor, writer, and producer Kim Berrios, and stunt person, actor, voiceover artist, and entrepreneur Anna Mastroianni.

TICKETS AND PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Tickets for the 2021 Step into the Spotlight Soiree & Talent Competition are $125 per person and includes dinner, a two-hour open bar, ongoing entertainment, and the chance to meet the contestants, celebrity judges, and honorees while dancing the night away. Guests and online fans may also cast Audience Choice votes, available for $5 each with no limit, for contestants in the competition.

Event sponsorships, ads, and scholarships are still available. Sponsorships range from $250 to $7,500; ads range from $50 to $150, and scholarships range from $600 to $1,200.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

To purchase tickets, sponsorships, ads, Audience Choice votes, and learn more about the Zzak G. Applaud Our Kids Foundation, visit www.ApplaudOurKids.org. Follow the foundation on Facebook at www.facebook.com/applaudourkids and Instagram @applaudourkids.


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