NEWARK — The ninth annual Concert for Kids on Nov. 9 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark will feature seven-time Grammy award-winner Gladys Knight. The Concert for Kids is the signature fundraiser for the statewide network of local Boys & Girls Clubs.
The event, which raised more than $300,000 last year, will include a pre-event reception for sponsors, followed by performances by local Club members, an address by the New Jersey Youth of the Year, Frankie Watson of the Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City and the performance by Gladys Knight.
“We are thrilled to have Ms. Knight join us this year,” said Connie Ludwin, CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey. “Not only is she a music legend and the “Empress of Soul”, she is a true humanitarian who has done much to support the Boys & Girls Club members across the country.”
Each year, the Concert for Kids also honors someone who consistently works with the organization to advance its mission and goals. This year’s honoree is Jersey-born comedian and entertainer Joe Piscopo, who has been a staunch supporter and spokesperson for Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey for the last three years.
“The Boys & Girls Clubs are doing amazing things for our kids with very little resources and we need everyone’s help to ensure that all our kids have the opportunity to be safe and achieve their full potential”, comments Piscopo. “I am proud to be from New Jersey and proud to have an opportunity with the Boys & Girls Club to do what I can for kids in New Jersey”.
There are currently 23 local Boys and Girls Clubs across the Garden State serving more than 85,000 children, who range in age from 6 to 18. Historically, the clubs have seen tremendous growth in membership, largely because dues and fees are kept low, so no child is denied access because of an inability to pay. Unfortunately, recent funding cuts have had a negative impact on membership in some of the state’s most distressed areas as organizations streamline operations and reduce services in order to make ends meet.
For more than 150 years, Boys & Girls Clubs have provided programs a safe place, adult mentors and life enhancing programs to young people in need. Clubs nationwide are focusing especially on education and job training for teens in an effort to address critical issues such as high school drop-out and delinquency and gang participation and substance abuse. Clubs also provide programs in health and fitness, character and leadership, the arts, and sports and recreation.
Tickets to see Gladys Knights performance start at $28, and can be ordered through the NJPAC events page at http://www.njpac.org/all_events.asp or by calling the box office at 1-888-GO-NJPAC. To make a donation to Boys & Girls Clubs, visit www.begreatnewjersey.org
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