Written by Rich Forestano Thursday, 24 April 2014 00:00
Night On The Town has been a fixture in Mineola, honoring community pillars and charities with a evening of great food and fun. This year, event reps have a new goal in mind for the May 7 event at Jericho Terrace: 1,000 attendees and $100,000 raised for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the night’s yearly beneficiary. The event raised $72,500 last year.
“If you want to buy a ticket or write a check, you don’t make it out to no one else other than the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society,” said event coordinator and Piccola Bussola owner Tony Lubrano. “All of the money goes straight to them.”
Lubrano’s family has been personally touched by leukemia, specifically his late father, Pasquale. The 2012 extravaganza marked the first recipient of the Pasquale Lubrano Community Service Award to the event’s honoree, former state Senator Michael Balboni.
“My father was originally given a year and a half to live,” Lubrano said. “We went to Sloane Kettering and they offered some trial stuff. He got 15 years that we never anticipated.”
In 2013, cancer patient Frank Ferrante, an event donor, and his doctor Dr. Vincent Vinciguerra of North Shore LIJ were chosen as the award recipient. Ferrante was battling cancer at the time and passed away last year. Next month’s event will honor Ferrante with a memorial.
This year, the night will commend Senator Jack Martins and CPA Michael Costa.
“Every year, [Costa] does a lot for this event,” said Lubrano. “We wanted to do something to recognize what he’s done. Jack Martins is a solid choice. He’s done so much for us and the Mineola community. It seemed like a no-brainer to pick these two people.”
Night on the Town originally supported the Corpus Christi School. A one-year hiatus occurred when the school was closing and Lubrano approached co-chairman Harry Zapiti for help on a charity event to raise money for leukemia, giving Night on the Town the
rebirth it needed.
“It’s enlightening to see that this event has grown to the level it has,” Zapiti said. “Now, bringing in the Mavericks to raise money for leukemia, is a great asset to the event. It will allow us to raise more money for the foundation.”
Sponsored by the United Mavericks, a 60-member networking group of local business people, Night on The Town could flourish more than ever, says Nick Valastro.
“Basically we’re a group of lads...leaders, achievers and doers,” said Valastro, of Global Real Estate Services in Carle Place. “We get together and socialize. But our goal is to do charity work and give back to society. We want to see the world get to where it needs to be. Night on the Town is a perfect example.”
The group is currently circulating tickets and looking for donations. Word of mouth is key.
“The [Mavericks] is a conduit, but we all have people that we know and we really broadened the base,” said Roy DiMarco of HLD Communications in Mineola. “Whatever it is, we spread the word of what we’re doing and helping out events like Night on the Town, it’s a win-win for everyone.”
Lubrano indicated the Mavericks have been a philanthropic force in the area, most notably its effort in organizing a local contingent to travel to the Tunnel To Towers last September. The event retraces the steps of FDNY fireman Stephen Siller who abandoned his truck and ran through the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel to help during the Sept. 11 attacks.
“The Mavericks were [at Night on the Town] last year, helping us out and this year they are taking a bigger role in it,” said Lubrano. “We’re doing a lot of events this year.”
The 2014 gala will see the likes of Donna Vivino, who plays the witch in Broadway’s smash Wicked, sing a few tunes and Edward de Corsia’s New York’s Most Dangerous Big Band with Gina Glickman Giordan, host of TV show In the Mixx, as mistress of ceremonies.
Twenty-two restaurants will cater the event, including Major’s Steakhouse, Churrasqueira Bairrada, Becco, Vinoco, Piccola Bussola, Diletto’s, Eleanor Rigby’s, Rothmann’s Steakhouse, Memories, Opa Grille, Revel Restaurant and Bar, Rockefeller Wine and Spirits, Stuffcakes Bakery, The Capital Grille, Uncle Bacala’s, Vincent’s Clam Bar, Piccolo’s, Heart of Portugal, Frantoni’s, Cardinali Bakery, Jericho Terrace and Manetta’s.
Silent auctions will be held for various sports/celebrity memorabilia, including signed items from New York sport teams. Last year, the event auctioned off a New York Jets Joe Namath jersey, a New York Rangers goalie mask autographed by Henrik Lundqvist, a signed portrait of New York Mets greats of Dwight Gooden, Ron Darling, Sid Fernandez and Bob Ojeda as well as pieces honoring New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit and pitcher Mariano Rivera’s 602nd career save.
Tickets are $100 per person. Visit Li.nightontown.LLSevent.org or call Harry Zapiti at 516-426-1652 or Tony Lubrano at 516-316-9271.