Special Event Nov. 1 to Raise Funds for Free Performing Arts Lessons for Children

Posted on October 15, 2019 By

The Zzak G. Applaud Our Kids Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, was created by Jodi and Melissa Grinwald to provide free ongoing vocal, dance, acting, and instrumental music lessons for children, ages 7-18, in Ocean and Monmouth counties, making children’s dreams a reality when the parents of many talented children simply cannot afford lessons for their children.
To raise funds for the free lessons, The Zzak G. Applaud Our Kids Foundation is holding its 2nd Annual Step into the Spotlight Soiree and Talent Competition, Friday, November 1, 2019, at 7:00 p.m. at Jack Baker’s Lobster Shanty, 83 Channel Drive, Point Pleasant, NJ 08742. Among other supporters, the Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation and Investors Bank are this year’s sponsors.

Last year, 148 people attended this event, which provided 30 full-year scholarships for children. Because some children do not have the transportation they need to get to lessons at a studio, Applaud Our Kids has also started a community outreach program to fund teachers who will go to after-school community programs and teach dance, acting, instrumental music, or vocal instruction. If a student needs supplies, such as dance shoes or instruments, the foundation makes every effort to provide these items depending on available funding.

For the major impact they have had in helping children and the Foundation in its first two years, Heather Barberi, executive director of the Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation will be honored with the 2019 Spotlight on Kindness; Shawn Michaels and Sue Moll from Townsquare Media’s Ocean County Breakfast Show on 92.7 WOBM FM will receive the 2019 Media Spotlight; and Investors Bank will receive the 2019 Corporate Spotlight.

Tickets are $115 each and include dinner, a two-hour open bar, a silent auction, dancing, and talent competitions. Call 732-773-8970 or email jodi@applaudourkids.org for sponsorships, digital ad opportunities, tickets, or more information. To purchase tickets online visit https://aokstepintothespotlightsoiree.eventbrite.com.

For more information, email jodi@applaudourkids.org. visit www.applaudourkids.org. or call 848.333.2819. Donations can be mailed to Zzak G. Applaud Our Kids Foundation Inc., P.O. BOX 994, Barnegat, NJ 08005.

How Applaud Our Kids Began: Jodi and Melissa Grinwald’s dad loved to sing; but when he was a child, no one could pay for young Zzak Grinwald to take voice lessons. Finally, he took his first lesson when he was in his 30s. His teacher said he had the voice of an operatic tenor! He sang, he wrote music, and he composed songs, and was passionate about the performing arts until his death in 2015 at age 68 from ALS. To honor his legacy, his daughters created the Zzak G. Applaud Our Kids Foundation in 2017.

Some students receiving lessons are dealing with difficult situations, such as a loss of a parent among other problems. The only constant they have in their life is the lessons Applaud Our Kids funds. Jodi Grinwald said, “We are a kids-helping-kids organization. The Applaud Our Kids Performance Group performs at corporate and nonprofit events to bring awareness about how important the performing arts are to kids. These talented kids help fundraise for their peers who want to take lessons just like them.”
Some facts: Students who take four years of arts and music classes average almost 100 points higher on their SAT scores than students who take only one-half year or less. Low-income students who are highly engaged in the arts are twice as likely to graduate college as their peers with no arts education. Arts students are more likely to attend secondary schools than those who do not participate in the arts. Low-income students who are highly engaged in the arts are twice as likely to graduate college as their peers with no arts education.

Visit www.applaudourkids.org for more information about the Foundation. Visit Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/applaudourkids/.