.

Idol Stars to Sing for Sandy Relief in Malverne

Concert will benefit local families still recovering from superstorm Sandy.

It's been two years since Devyn Rush, Robbie Rosen, Caleb Hawley and Karen Rodriguez performed for Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez, Randy Jackson and millions of at-home viewers during Season 10 of "American Idol."

But on Thursday, the four Idol alums will once again share a stage ... in Malverne, of all places. Instead of competing for votes, the performers will also be singing for a greater cause -- the many local families still trying to put their lives back together months after superstorm Sandy.

The "Singing 4 Sandy Benefit Concert" will take place at 7 p.m. on Feb. 7, inside the 750-seat auditorium at Howard T. Herber Middle School (75 Ocean Ave., Malverne).

Since all four performers live in New York, they've seen first-hand how Sandy ravaged the region. Merrick native Robbie Rosen, 19, even had a tree tear through his bedroom the night the storm hit.

"Thank God I was not in the room when it happened," he said. "It was scary, but we didn't get nearly as much damage as other people whose entire homes were swept away or flooded with five feet of water ... To this day, there are people who don't have a home or have no heat in this terrible cold [weather]. It's heartbreaking. So many people need help."

The Calhoun High School graduate and Hofstra University music major performed for hurricane victims in Breezy Point in November and at a Sandy benefit hosted by Music Power NY at the Tilles Center, but Thursday's concert will specifically help families on the South Shore.

In early January, Robbie reached out to his Idol friends, who "were so excited to give back through music," and they've been working together ever since to prepare for the show. "It's been a lot of work, but I know it will all be worth it," he says.

The concert was originally scheduled to take place at another venue, but when plans changed, Matt Rosen reached out to Malverne school officials. Without hesitation, they agreed to hold the event at Herber. The program will be sponsored by Herber's Community Service Club and hosted by 106.1 BLI.

"This district has a heart and always has," Rosen said.

The Malverne School District will be providing the venue, security and supervision. Malverne alum Greg Monahan volunteered to handle the sound, and all four performers, as well as radio personality Astra from 106.1 BLI, are donating their time and talents. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the concert will go to local families affected by Sandy.

The money will be distributed through local school districts, who are familiar with the families and their needs. Some students from the hardest hit areas will also be invited to attend the concert through the generosity of several sponsors.

The 40-plus student members of Herber's Community Service Club will be working before, during and after the concert, coming up with ideas, publicizing the event, and on the night of the show, serving as liaisons to the performers and handing out playbills.

Unlike any other concert he's performed in, Robbie says Thursday's show will be special and symbolic. Since leaving Idol, the four performers have each gone their separate ways, musically, Rosen explained.

"The fact that we are able to come together will be representative of what Long Islanders have always done," he says. "No matter how different our lives may be, or how we were affected, Long Island is reuniting ... and truly encompassing what 'Strong Island' is all about."

Tickets for the concert are $8 per student, $15 for adults, and can be purchased in advanced or at the door. (To buy tickets, ask questions or make a donation, contact Matt Rosen at 516-887-6458.)

As a final pitch for the event, Robbie adds, "The more money raised, the more families that can be helped and return to some sort of normalcy."

antzawol February 06, 2013 at 07:53 PM
Millions of dollars have been donated for "Sandy victims". Millers Ale House matched all donations from all of their locations....where is the money? I have not heard any of the "victims" say that they have been helped with donated money.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »