Concert to benefit Sandy victims

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 Entertainer Ron Gartner

MIDDLE TOWNSHIP – Entertainer Ron Gartner felt guilty after Hurricane Sandy because his Manhattan home fared well while others weren’t as fortunate.

Then came the phone conversation with Middle Township Performing Arts Center director Kay Aspell.

Gartner asked how Cape May County made out with the storm. He has brought many shows to the area, and wanted to help in some way with relief efforts.

On Tuesday, Dec. 11, he is putting on a benefit concert at the Middle Township PAC that would help Hurricane Sandy victims in Cape May County.

Organizers hope to raise $10,000.

His "Scotch, Soul and Rock 'n' Roll" performance will feature the best of American Bandstand, Motown and Rat Pack at the Middle Township PAC.

Gartner will be joined by Bill Gulino, a pianist, singer, author and entertainer who has accompanied Bing Crosby, Doris Day, Donald O’Connor and Sammy Davis Jr.

The Dec. 11 show starts at 7:30 p.m., and the proceeds will go to the Cape May County chapter of the American Red Cross. Admission is a $10 donation, but people can give more.

"We want to make it as many donations as possible," Gartner said.

Gartner is performing at no cost to the PAC, which is owned by the Middle Township Board of Education.

“Much of Cape May County was spared the wrath of Hurricane Sandy, so we decided to help others less fortunate in New Jersey,” Aspell said. “We had had our share of severe storms here and we are well aware of the pain and devastation that such weather brings. Now it is our turn to help others who are in need because of the storm.”

Gartner is an agent as well as an entertainer.

“I’m always happier when I’m on stage,” he said.

Gartner said he averages 40-50 stage performances a year, often in New York, California and Florida.

He has been in entertainment for about 10 years after leaving the fabric business as a salesman. He worked in Los Angeles and New York City.

Growing up, the 68-year-old found himself as a “frustrated lounge singer” and gave up the passion until he found it again about a decade ago. He kicked off his entertainment career at a senior center in Queens.

He also runs an agency, Bicoastal Productions, in New York City. It’s been in operation for four years.

Gartner’s been to Cape May County several times, bringing entertainment to the Middle Township PAC, Wildwood Crest and North Wildwood.

Gulino is a member of New York City’s Friars Club, which is known for celebrity roasts.

Gartner was to sing with recorded music at the show, but Gulino and other musicians decided they’d play for free.

Proceeds will help Hurricane Sandy victims in Cape May County.

“We do have to start around home,” Aspell said.

 

The PAC is at 212 Bayberry Drive, one mile east of exit 10 of the Garden State Parkway.

For reservations, call the PAC box office at 609-463-1924. Contributions are also accepted for the Sandy relief efforts.

For more information on Gartner, see rongartner.com,  or the PAC, see www.middletwp.k12.nj.us. 


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