Eat for a good cause at Night on the Town, which returns to Jericho Terrace Thursday, April 14. The event allows guests to sample the fare of more than 20 restaurants from Long Island and the city, as well as raises money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
The event has a personal significance for Tony Lubrano, who spearheads the event with Harry Zapiti. When Lubrano’s father was diagnosed with leukemia, he was given a year to live. They went to Sloan Kettering for a second opinion, and while they confirmed the diagnosis, the doctors shared they had new experimental medicine. The new medications stabilized Lubrano’s dad, extending his life 15 years.“By the time he passed away, all eight of his grandchildren got to meet him,” Lubrano said. “We felt that somebody came long before us and raised a lot of money for research that paid for those 15 years. We wanted to pay back that debt.”
While Lubrano said he could never put a dollar amount on those 15 years, he set a personal goal to raise $1 million for the LLS. At the end of Night on the Town in two weeks, he estimates he’ll have raised $600,000 towards his goal.
Over the years the event has grown in size and stature, growing from a two-man show to an effort that involves more than 40 volunteers, including the help of the LLS, which helps with organizing and fundraising as well as brings in staff and volunteers. It’s become a very sophisticated and well-organized event, said Lubrano.
The community plays a huge part in the event’s success as well. Jericho Terrace opens up its doors for the event, and more than 20 restaurants from Mineola and beyond donate their time and food. Several businesses, including Roslyn Savings Bank, Lalezarian Properties and Western Beef donated substantial sums, while others donated goods, such as bikes, jewelry and trips, for auctions and raffle prizes. Chaminade High School’s string quartet will also be playing. Entertainment will also be provided by the New York’s Most Dangerous Swing Band and Broadway singers.
This year’s event Night on the Town will honor the 10 dedicated coaches that are a part of LLS’ Team in Training, which runs a program for triathletes raising money for LLS.
Night on the Town typically draws 700-800 guests and last year’s event raised $120,000. This year, the goal is $150,000.
“It’s a really good cause and a great community builder,” Zapiti said. “We look forward to bringing people in for a great time.”
Night on the Town takes place Thursday, April 14 from 7 to 11 p.m. Tickets are $150. For more information and to buy tickets, visit www.nightonthetown.lls.org.