Fundraiser to benefit victims of Hurricane Sandy

By Carol Ann Benanti Staten Island Advance

Keith Manfredi, co-founder of the Joseph Maffeo Foundation and president of Educational Performance Tours, a travel and tour company specializing in student travel, in conjunction with the Stephen Siller Foundation, will host a Hurricane Relief Concert come March 22 at the historic St. George Theatre.

The “Philanthropic Performance Event” will directly impact the lives of Staten Island Hurricane Sandy victims who are still suffering from the storm’s effects today, says Keith before explaining that the concert event will feature student musicians from across the country who’ve applied and auditioned to take part in the extraordinary event.

Keith says he was moved by the efforts of the Siller Foundation, and wanted to develop a way to join his two passions, the Maffeo Foundation and his student tour business, with the efforts of the Siller family. The Impact Performance Concert does just that as it offers students from varied musical backgrounds the opportunity to unite and perform for a greater purpose.

By creating the event, student performance ensembles from across North America now have an opportunity to make a difference with their music.

Jack Oehm, a former FDNY Battalion Chief, who’s spearheading the relief and rebuild efforts, said that the concert benefit couldn’t come at a better time. With damages estimating $19 billion in the five boroughs, funds are low and donations have all but stopped.

The Siller Foundation has helped rebuild 150 homes, but 300 homes are still in need of repair. One hundred percent of the ticket proceeds will benefit the Staten Island Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts of the Stephen Siller Foundation, this year’s beneficiary.

Sponsorship opportunities are available at levels which will allow all size businesses and organizations to participate — and ticket sales and sponsorship information will follow he adds.

According to a report from State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman’s Charities Bureau, the Siller Foundation has raised millions of dollars for Sandy Relief, in which $1.85 million has gone directly into funding grants to individuals, families or businesses.

FEMA has approved more than $1 billion to assist NYC families with property that has been damaged, or destroyed. Victims of the storm have faced red tape and insurance woes, and with over 22,000 housing units deemed uninhabitable, many were evicted when the city ended its hotel funding program earlier this month.

Those interested in additional information on the event and in reserving should contact Vanessa Morro, event director at Vanessa@EducationalPerformanceTours.org. or Keith at MaffeoFoundation@aol.com. 

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