As everyone knows, I feel a strong sense of pride and commitment when it comes to supporting important causes and events on Long Island. When I got a request to perform at the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund’s 1st annual Pink Penguin Bash, I said “yes” right away! I was so honored to be invited and asked to perform by the Baldwin family, and for a cause that is very close to my heart. One of my favorite aunt’s lost her battle with breast cancer last November.
For those who aren’t familiar with Carol Baldwin, she is the mother of actors Alec, Billy, Stephen and Daniel Baldwin, and she is a breast cancer survivor and breast cancer awareness advocate. The family originates from Massapequa, NY, and all four Baldwin brothers established the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund in their mother’s name.
The Pink Penguin Bash took place on July 30th at the Long Island Atlantis Marine World Aquarium and Exhibition Center in Riverhead, NY and was emceed by WBAB 102.3 FM on air personality, Fingers. I performed a five song set along with JD Leonard who is a super talented guitarist. JD and I performed 3 songs from my EP, Me Time, including: “I Don’t Feel Anything,” “Wouldn’t Like to Know?”, and the title track, “Me Time.” We also performed two songs from my upcoming LP, Sunrise Highway: the songs “Somebody’s Baby” and the title track, “Sunrise Highway.”
The other great performers at the event were legendary rock n’ roll singer, Lita Ford; American Idol season 10 finalist, Robbie Rosen, who is so talented and such a sweet kid; and Randy Jackson from the group, Zebra, who performed an amazing rendition of “Stairway to Heaven.” Robbie Rosen sang first, followed by Randy Jackson of Zebra who invited Lita Ford up on stage with him. Lita Ford then did her set, and I went on as the final act. My guitarist, JD Leonard, picked up the harmonies for my songs beautifully, and the crowd was very receptive to us.
During the event I had the opportunity to speak with Billy Baldwin, Stephen Baldwin, and their mom, Carol Baldwin. The Baldwin family was so kind and the work they are doing for breast cancer research is remarkable. I was informed that since its inception, the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund has given out $6 million in grant funding with a large portion of that grant funding having gone to breast cancer research at Upstate Medical University. In addition, the Carol M. Baldwin Fund awards multiple $50,000 grants each year to breast cancer research at the State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical University and University Hospital in Syracuse.
For the event, the Atlantis Aquarium was transformed into a catering hall. Many of the aquatic exhibits were table-side. They did a beautiful job decorating with pink and purple lights and penguins were dressed in pink bowties. There was also an organization at the event that was there with exotic looking rescue birds that you could stop and take pictures with.
I posed for pictures and signed plenty of autographs throughout the night, and there was a fun casino area and a Chinese auction. All in all, a very rewarding night!
Before we left, Atlantis Marine World’s curator and co-founder, Joseph Yaiullo, told me that he enjoyed my performance and he offered me a private VIP tour with my family for a private session with the penguins and seals, which sounds wonderful. Can’t wait to take him up on his offer!!