LIVINGSTON, NJ — In an effort to help Livingston Neighbors Helping Neighbors (LNHN) assist local families in need during the global health crisis, community members are stepping up to produce a live, music-based fundraising event that will feature performances from local singers and musicians.
LNHN, an affiliate of Healthy Community Healthy Youth (HCHY) that has been providing assistance to local families in need since it was established in 2016, is currently anticipating an even greater need than usual amid the health crisis. Within the first two weeks of March, the organization, which also Livingston’s Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse (CHOW) in partnership with the Livingston Clergy Association, received several emergency requests for financial assistance due to work being shut down and has delivered food to multiple LNHN families.
The “Livingston Sings” event—to be broadcast online on Sunday, April 5 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.—seeks to raise money toward an emergency fund that has been established in order to assist LNHN with the increased demand.
The Livingston Sings event committee includes several long-time residents and local leaders such as Neeli Margolis, Martha Ackermann, Robert Allen, Brian Bradley, Holli Ehrlich and Alan Karpas.
"Music heals the soul, especially at times like these; it brings us together even when we are separated by physical distance,” said resident Margolis, administrator of the Ltown Lowdown community Facebook group. “The economic consequences of the pandemic have already touched our community. We wanted to support LNHN’s efforts to provide relief to financial insecure residents. This event is a wonderful opportunity to help them meet some of our residents’ essential needs while bringing the entire community together for a night of much-needed entertainment."
Ackermann, vice president and secretary of HCHY, described LNHN as “a group of incredible ‘doers’ who provide financial help and food security” to the Livingston community.
“The support and partnership that we receive from the Livingston Town Council, Health Department and Livingston Public Schools, and generosity of community members, allows us to ‘give back’ as needed,” she said. “Livingston Sings promises to bring out the best in all in our community."
Karpas, president of HCHY, added that the upcoming event “is a fine example of how we bring our community together."
Ehrlich, a 27-year resident of Livingston, said she is “grateful to be part of such a caring, compassionate community during these unprecedented, challenging times.”
“We want Livingston Sings to bring people together virtually to lift spirits, healing and hope,” she said. “Helen Keller said it best, 'Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.' I strongly believe that to get through this we need to be there for each other even if we can not be with each other."
Allen, Ehrlich’s husband, added that, “like any strong relationship,” it is important for neighbors to “be there for one another in good times and in bad times.”
“We have seen how Livingston responds in times of celebration and it is quite evident we are there for each other in the difficult times as well,” he said. “This concert is a perfect example of that at so many levels. I am proud to be a part of this project."
The committee will be joined remotely by a few cameo appearances and musicians from around Livingston, including Brian Bradley, Cris Colicchio, Kimberly Egipciaco, Bailey Grey, Lee Scott Howard, Matthew Lahm, Brian Maloof, Lenny Meranus, Jennifer Raz, Megan Rossilli, Josh Salzman, Kelly Schultz and Jeff Sternstein. Many of the musicians are graduates of Livingston High School (LHS).
There will also be a special appearance by LHS alumnus Jared Goldsmith, who graduated in 2014 and is currently playing "Jared Kleinman" in “Dear Evan Hansen” on Broadway.
"Helping each other in times of crisis is what makes a community stand out from the rest,” said Bradley, a featured musician and seven-year resident Livingston. “I am proud to call Livingston my home."
The live broadcast will be available on New Media Connection Facebook Event.
Those who do now have Facebook accounts can view the event BY CLICKING HERE.
A recording of the “Livingston Sings” benefit concert will be available on LTV shortly after the live event is aired.