The Zzak G. Applaud Our Kids Foundation (AOK), a non-profit dedicated to providing
engaging and immersive arts education to all NJ youth, has announced 'Dance Through the Decades,’ its 6th Annual ‘Step Into The Spotlight’ Soiree and Talent Competition on Thursday, October 26, 2023, at 6:00 p.m. at the Lobster Shanty, Sunset Ballroom, Point Pleasant, NJ.
This annual event features active audience participation in attire from a favorite era, a
showcase of talent, and celebrity judges from the arts and entertainment industry and the business community. Contestants will vie for the Step into the Spotlight Award. The statewide nonprofit ArtPride New Jersey will receive the Arts Advocacy Award for its work advancing, promoting, and advocating for the value of the arts.
“Today’s arts students are tomorrow’s arts advocates,” said Adam Perle, President and CEO
of ArtPride. “Arts education has the power to transform young lives. We are grateful for this award and honored to advocate for New Jersey’s incredible arts community of students, educators and artists."
The event is dedicated to the life and memory of Carolyn Hester, one of the original
contestants in the inaugural Step into the Spotlight Soiree. All proceeds support the Zzak G. Applaud Our Kids Foundation’s mission to give children the opportunity to find their voice, increase self-esteem, and provide positive reinforcement through the performing arts.
The lineup includes performances from a host of contestants, including nostalgic and
dynamic blues and reggae duo Roots in Blue Stone. Jazz and musical theatre soprano Susan Peltz will join songwriter Thomas Pipola in front of the judges’ panel with Ms. New Jersey Senior America 2023 Ferlie Almonte, star of her one-woman inspirational EDUtainment show “Make Your Mess Your Message.” Contestants will continue to be announced as the event nears.
Carol Stillwell, owner and president of Stillwell-Hansen, Inc., will join actor, producer,
and writer Kim Berrios Lin on the judges’ panel. Other Step into the Spotlight Award judges include Chris Maltese, Vice President of Label & Artist Relations at international music label and distributor Vydia; and Anna Mastroianni, stunt woman, actress and entrepreneur. Judges Nick Ditri, one-half of the internationally renowned, platinum-selling duo Disco Fries; and Debra Dutcher, producer, “Back to the Future” on Broadway.
The Zzak G. Applaud Our Kids Foundation (AOK) has connected hundreds of students to
the performing arts by funding artistic instruction and resources for students ages 7-22 with financial need. The Foundation also provides opportunities for young artists to give back to their communities through the AOK performance group, which performs at organizations throughout Ocean and Monmouth counties. They regularly perform at JBJ Soul Kitchen, run by the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, a non-profit community restaurant that serves paying and in-need customers.
Event tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information,
visit the Foundation’s website, https://applaudourkids.org/. For additional sponsorship
opportunities, further information, or media inquiries, please contact: Jodi Grinwald at
Copyright © 2023 Zzak G. Applaud Our Kids Foundation, Inc. - All Rights Reserved.
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