Karaoke Fundraiser Saturday at Vail-Leavitt to help hospice

COURTESY PHOTO | Doug Wald and Mark Stark at last year's Sing East End event.

So you think you can sing?

You’ll have a chance to prove it Saturday — while also raising money for East End Hospice — at the Sing East End 2011 Open Karaoke Benefit at the Vail-Leavitt Music Hall downtown.

For an entrance fee of $25 in advance or $30 at the door, you can sing your favorite karaoke song or watch your friends or colleagues perform on the stage at the historic music hall on Peconic Avenue.

“Doors open at 7 p.m, and singers can sign up from 7:15 to 7:45 p.m. at the foot of the Vail-Leavitt stage, choosing from a catalog of over 100,000 songs,” said Doug Wald of Riverhead, the organizer of the event.

Deciding who gets to sing will be done on a first-come, first-served basis, he said.

This is the second year the benefit is being held, said Mr. Wald, who is hoping to make it an annual event.

He said he had several ideas in mind when he came up with the concept.

One was to help East End Hospice, a Westhampton Beach-based nonprofit that provides end-of-life care.

“My mom fell ill a number of years ago and Hospice cared for her and they were tremendous,” Mr. Wald said. “Not only for the medical care, but also for things like just coming to the house and doing some light cleaning or offering help shopping.”

Another reason?

“I was just sick of hearing people say there is nothing going on in Riverhead, so I wanted to have a unique event.”

Last year’s event drew about 170 people and about 40 singers, with close to $4,000 being raised for East End Hospice.

“We had people from ages 7 to 70 singing everything from ABBA to Zeppelin,” Mr. Wald said. “We had a lot of really great singers.”

The event is not a competition, so there are no prizes involved, although the top three finishers in this past weekend’s Riverhead Idol competition will have their entry fee waived, Mr. Wald said.

There also has been food and raffle prizes donated by about 50 local businesses, Mr. Wald said. Food for the event was donated by Jerry and the Mermaid, CK’s Deli, Signature Bagels, Digger O’Dell’s, Farm Country Kitchen, and Carlo’s, he said.

Mr. Wald, who is the director of Internet marketing for CA Technologies (formerly Computer Associates), said he’s always been a big music fan but used to look down on karaoke singing until about five years ago, when his friend Mark Stark got him interested in it. “I do about 125 songs now,” Mr. Wald said, noting his experience singing Frank Zappa songs has even afforded him the opportunity to sing with live bands in New York City.

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