Broadway Friends Sing To Benefit Bullying Prevention & Kindness Organization

EVENING WITH FRIENDS will benefit for the Be A Friend Project at the Ardsley Country Club in Dobbs Ferry, NY.

By: Mar. 22, 2024
Broadway Friends Sing To Benefit Bullying Prevention & Kindness Organization
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On Sunday, April 7th, a volunteer cabaret of Broadway's best & Broadway-bound performers will sing at the "EVENING WITH FRIENDS" benefit for the Be A Friend Project at the Ardsley Country Club in Dobbs Ferry, NY.

The national, non-profit Be A Friend Project was inspired by 'theater kids' in 2015 when junior cast members of "IT'S EASY! The Friend Strong Musical" (winner of 8 Broadway World Awards) asked the playwrights, Jennifer Young and composer January Akselrad, for a way to carry off-stage the show's anti-bullying "speak up, reach out and be a friend" message.

Almost 10 years later, the middle school show is internationally licensed and the "kids for kids" Be A Friend Project has gained global recognition for supporting "student Upstanders working to end bullying and its traumatic consequences, save lives and build kinder communities." In October, The Be A Friend Project received the 2023 "Spirit of Matthew" Award from the Matthew Shepard Foundation for their dedication to erasing hate, advocating for peers and forging a more just and caring world.

The BAFP annual fundraiser on Sunday, April 7th, from 5:00-9:00pm aims to raise support and anti-bullying awareness. On average in the United States, 6 children ages 10 and up are dying by suicide related to bullying - every day - and for every one of those, there are about 100 attempts. BAFP student Upstanders (from kindergarten through college) utilize kindness initiatives, empathy-building and the Arts to make a difference and save lives.

Principal Joyce Chapnick of the Main Street School in Irvington, NY, is the event Honoree, chosen for her deep commitment to fostering a kind, respectful and inclusive environment where every child feels accepted, welcome and safe to come to school to learn.

Samuel Li Weintraub, who played Tam in Miss Saigon on Broadway, is one of the benefit's youth performers. The BAFP mission matters to him "because I was bullied when I was younger and I want other kids who are bullied to know that they are not alone. It is OK to stand up for yourself and others!"

Jayden Theophile, who played Young Simba in The Lion King on Broadway, says "Supporting the mission to stop bullying is very important because in our world today, everyone needs and deserves a friend to uplift and support them at all times."

Along with Jayden and Samuel, performers for the "EVENING WITH FRIENDS" include Broadway's Jenn Gambatese, Mariama Diop, Alayna Martus, Michael J. Coppola, Chloe Hogan and Aurora Lotz. Solos, duets and a special quartet of songs - all with a theme of friendship - will be accompanied by the Sarah Jane Cion Band, with introductions by emcee Daniel Simpson.

January Akselrad returns as the evening's director of musical programming to benefit the organization she helped found. Co-founder Jennifer Young will give remarks at the event as the organization's Executive Director since its inception.

Tickets and sponsorships are now on sale! Be part of the solution to end hate and activate kindness while enjoying performances with a theme of friendship, inspirational speakers, fine food, open bar, silent and live auctions and a Broadway friends sing-along - join the party! It will be a great night out for a great cause!