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INTERVIEW: Stan Glinka On Southampton Cultural Center's "A Salute To Community Heroes"

T.J. Clemente

Stan Glinka, Southampton Cultural Center (SCC) Co-Chair, was kind enough to take some time from his busy schedule to talk about the SCC's upcoming benefit/tribute show, A Salute to Community Heroes, that will take place virtually on Saturday, September 26 at 7:00 p.m. There will be no charge to view this tribute to first responders, nurses, doctors and other essential workers who bravely worked and sacrificed to help the community.

He explained, "Typically every year we would have had a fundraising gala for the SCC already. We would have had a fundraiser, a typical gala, like all the other non-for-profit organizations. No one could have any events this year because of what we have been through, because of the pandemic. I got to thinking, because we are in very good financial shape, and we are proud of that, so I brought this idea up to the board when we had a board meeting a couple of months ago. The one gentleman who was the chair of the gala was brainstorming, trying to still do something, because places like the Southampton Hospital, Fresh Air Home, Historical Museum in Southampton and some of the other non-for-profits had virtual events where you could buy a basket or whatever to participate." Glinka continued, "So, finally, I said to everyone rather than us doing something of that nature, we are in good, sound shape fiscally. Why don't we do a tribute and a thank-you to all the frontline folks - Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, Southampton Village Ambulance, Southampton Town Ambulance? I said what a switch for a non-for-profit to be able to give back to the community and say thank-you and not be asking for something in turn. I also said it's a way of us [SCC] personally thanking them for all that they did and for their families for what they endured during this whole entire ordeal that we went through on the East End, like everybody else did in the United States."

The idea was well-received. "It kind of took off from there. We reached out to one of the main people who does a lot of performances for the Cultural Center, Darren Ottati, a local Hamptons guy. Darren took the ball out of my hand and took off down the field with it and really ran with it. It all started to evolve from there and really just took off to where we are talking right now. SCC Executive Director Kirsten Lonnie has been wonderful, working with a company to set everything up for doing everything virtual."

Popular local celebrity, Bonnie Grice, will be the emcee of the event, which is being produced by and aired on metropolitanzoom.com. The show will consist of highlights from Center Stage Concerts - with numbers from Dear Evan Hanson, A Chorus Line, Cabaret and The Phantom of the Opera - featuring Ava Bianchi, Jennifer DeMeo, Darren Ottati, and Bobby Peterson. It will also include a performance by award-winning pianist Nathan Lee, showcasing the classical Rising Stars Piano Series.

It will also include a sample of the SCC's dance programs - such as lively Cuban Salsa. Then there will be a performance of the East End Youth Quartet, a group of talented teen musicians who have participated in the SCC's Annual Southampton Strings Festival for many years. Finally, a taste of boots on the ground's historical theater performances, including The Miracle Worker, The Badge of Courage and Sherlock's Secret Life, as well as South Fork Performing Arts theater productions for children and teens, highlighting Freaky Friday and Frozen.

Glinka said, "I am very proud of everyone involved. I invite everyone to watch what I know will be a great evening." So, on Saturday, September 26 at 7:00 p.m., make sure to check out the Southampton Cultural Center's A Salute to Community Heroes. There will be no charge to view the show.

For more information, visit www.scc-arts.org.

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