High school show to benefit counselor’s children

BY JOYCE BLAY Staff Writer

Staff Writer

JACKSON — The community’s rising stars will shine at a Jan. 14 benefit concert to be held at 7 p.m. in the Jackson Memorial High School Fine Arts Center, Don Connor Boulevard.

Members of the high school’s student council have organized “The Concert for the Cure” to raise funds for the Tomaino family of Toms River. Michael Tomaino is a guidance counselor at the high school.

According to a press release provided by student council member Jamie Jelly, Tomaino’s 8-year-old son, Anthony, was diagnosed with a brain disorder known as metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD). There is no cure for MLD and the prognosis is very poor.

Shortly after Anthony was diagnosed, Tomaino’s two other children, Matthew, 5, and Laura Grace, 4, were also diagnosed with the disease.

Anthony was admitted to the Chil-dren’s Hospital of Philadelphia on Aug. 19. Matthew was admitted on Dec. 19 and Laura was admitted on Dec. 20.

Students have rallied to help the family since learning that all three children were diagnosed with the disease, said Dennis Perks, student council adviser.

“There have already been several fund-raising events held to benefit the Tomaino family this school year,” said Perks. “We held a basketball game of faculty vs. seniors in October. The phys ed department held a walk-a-thon that raised several thousand dollars as well.”

Perks said the driving force behind “The Concert for the Cure” has been student council President Dominique Jean-Louis, 17, a senior, and Vice President Brian Tran, 16, a junior.

“Brian, being a concert pianist and having raised funds [for other causes], came up with the idea to bring together some of the school’s most talented students to benefit the family,” said Perks. “It’s a very eclectic assemblage.”

The concert will include dance, vocal, instrumental and comedic performances.

The ROTC color guard will accompany Jacob Rivedal, a junior, who will open the program with “The Star-Spangled Banner.” They will be followed by Marissa Caro, a senior, and Jackie Emmons, a junior, who will perform “Defying Gravity” from the Broadway musical “Wicked.”

Brianne Legge will perform a dance solo to “Fly” by Celine Dion. Following her performance, the Northern Lights Trio will take the stage. The group features Brian Tran’s younger sister Katelyn Tran on piano, Yuri Segawa on violin and Brannon Cho on cello. The trio will perform Haydn’s “Gypsy Rondo Trio.”

Dave Habit will perform his rendition of “You Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban. Patrick Bean, a junior, will then lighten the mood with a comedic routine.

Kaitlin Rose, a junior, and Samantha Amaral will sing Michael Jackson’s “Us.” They will be followed by Jackie Emmons, who will perform the Faith Hill hit “There You’ll Be.”

Brian Tran will close out the first act with a piano solo.

Following intermission, Ashley Contreras, a senior, will perform a duet with her brother, Brandon, a freshman. They will be followed by Jamie Eltink, who will dance to “Skin” by Beth Hart.

The Jackson Jazz Band will then perform. Jackie Emmons and Dave Habit will follow with “The Prayer,” a song made famous by Josh Groban and Charlotte Church.

Katelyn Tran will perform a piano solo, followed by Jamie Eltink and Brianne Legge, who will dance to “I Believe” by the Blessed Union of Souls.

Renee Emmons, a flutist, and Brian Tran on piano will perform “All I Ask of You” from “The Phantom of the Opera.”

Dancer Samantha Amaral next performs to “Only Hope” by Switchfoot. That will be followed by another performance of the Northern Lights Trio.

All the performers will close out the show with “Seasons of Love” from the Broadway musical “Rent.”

Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students. Children 4 and under will be admitted free.

During the intermission, concessions, yellow ribbons, and other merchandise will available for sale. The proceeds will also go to a fund to support the Tomaino family.

For further information about the Tomaino children, visit the Internet Web site www3.caringbridge.org/nj/anthonyt/