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Inside NBP

Thank You All For An Incredible Gala!

Posted by Nicole Kosar on 10/29/2020

Screen shots of Gala Musicians, each performing from their own homes and streaming into the event.

We had a wonderful time celebrating literacy with you. Although we were virtual, the amount of camaraderie and appreciation could be felt in every room across the country. After an amazing night of laughs, we raised more than $285,000!!!

 Last Thursday night was chock full of fun: to start off the night, we had jazz music courtesy of Wayne Pearcy and Matt Savage, interactive cocktail making with bartender Andrew Pelissier, and Laughing Yoga with Sandy Boris-Berkowitz.

 We got to hear from those who benefited from NBP's release of free books during the beginning of the COVID-19 crises. From the UK to KY, Damien Garwood, Byron Sykes, Rita Reese-Whiting, and Mary Kozy expressed just how vital some of these skills were, especially during this time of social isolation. 

Throughout the event, we got to warm up for Jim Gaffigan with our own comedians. Hannah & Daniel Gevers, Matthew deBrigard, Will Hutcherson, Matheus & Benjamin Silva, and Annie Cohane loved reading NBP's Totally Silly Jokes book. They told us a few of their favorites. We've definitely got some future comedians in this group!

We had some spectacular musicians. Meghan Downey belted out Cry Today, Smile Tomorrow by Anthony Ramos. Precious Perez, Noe Socha, Oveante Magsby, Shane Lowe, and John Dowling (featured above) wowed us with a full band performance of "Can’t Read a Book (Without Braille on the Cover)”, a parody of the song “Can’t Judge a Book (By Looking at the Cover)” by Hank Williams Jr. and Huey Lewis. Closing out the night, Rocco Fiorentino played “Never Alone” by Lady A, dedicated to our supporters and everything they do. 

We couldn't have done it without Lisamaria Martinez - a trustee, friend, & Braille reader - who did us the honor of MCing our event. Thanks to her phenomenal auctioneer skills, not only did we raise more than our goal, but Chateau Gaby, the vineyard in France donated by Tom Sullivan, sold twice!

It was an amazing night of community and fun. Thank you so much for supporting everyone's right to read.


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Topics: access, Gala