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Arts & Entertainment

brooklynONE to celebrate 10 years with festive fundraiser

Celebrating a decade of excellence in local performance.

brooklynONE productions (bkONE), founded in 2006 as a nonprofit organization that focuses on creating bold and exciting artistic content in Brooklyn is holding a celebration entitled  “And Away We Go: A 10 Year Anniversary Fundraiser.”

The evening will help raise money for the company to use in mounting its productions with attendees treated to food, drinks, entertainment and an award ceremony.

“We’re really excited to celebrate 10 years at Brooklyn as a company,” said Anthony Marino, co-founder and artistic director of bkONE. “It means absolutely everything as co-founder to have the company be around this long and have gone through so much.”

The fundraising component remains a significant part of the evening . “We have lost space and haven’t able to stay as active as we have projects we are interested in producing,” he said. “We’re a nonprofit organization and we are trying get money back in the bank so we can produce works in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn and beyond.”

Attendees can expect plenty of bang for their buck. “We have a great group of performers from previous shows and ones we like and might do in future,” he said. “We have fantastic songs prepared and performances we are working on. There will be lots of fun surprises.”

“It’s going to be a great party,” said Lauren McElroy, owner of Dimensions on Stage and an award recipient. “So many great groups have come together to donate and make it a special day. It’s unprecedented to have an event where so many types of businesses are donating and attending.”

In addition to performances, there will be a cocktail hour  with food and drink provided by Tommy Casatelli’s  Ho’brah Taco Joint, Steve Oliver’s  Pipin’s Pub and local Barrows Intense Ginger Liqueur.

However, the highlight for many of the attendees will be the awards ceremony. Nearly a dozen recipients of the Vince Mazza Award over the years will be honored again, including Michael John Coluccio, Jeff Samaha, Anthony Marino, Arlene Keating, Dawn Barry Hansen, John Heffernan, Fred Grieco, Anton Koval and Nicole Ferguson-Rodriguez as well as two new honorees, Adriane Cole and Joe Appel.

Mazza was a well-known actor/playwright in the community who died in 2006.

This will be the first time bkONE will present the Tom Kane Legacy Award, named after the company’s co-founder who died in 2011 of cancer.

“He was not only a co-founder, but a mentor and a brother,” Marino said. “We’ve been trying to figure out how to honor him properly. He always wanted to honor people that not only excel in theater and arts, but especially community. It’s important to keep BrooklynONE going, not just for me and my career and the company, but to keep Tom’s memory alive. It was his company too. It’s important to respect his legacy.”

This year’s recipients are Camille Orrichio Loccisano, founder of Frankie’s Mission, Andrew Gerardi and McElroy.

Recipients of the award are delighted to be an integral part of the evening. “It’s very meaningful to me because Tom was like a brother to me and close friend. I miss him dearly,” said Loccisano. “To receive an award in his name, I don’t even know what to say. It’s very meaningful. He was really a wonderful man. All the time I knew him, I never heard him say a negative word about a single person.”

“I’m very honored to be a part of it,” added  McElroy . “ It’s a company I really respect.”

The event will be held on November 12 at St. Patrick’s Auditorium Hall, 407 97th Street. Cocktail hour starts at 6 p.m. and performances at 7 p.m. Tickets range from $25-$50 and can be purchased at at www.bkone.org or at the door the night of the performances.

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