MORRISTOWN, NJ - Through the Darkness of Tragedy, Hope Springs Eternal. Grasshopper off the Green was packed with patrons Wednesday night to honor the memory of Brendan Tevlin with food, music and entertainment. Guests enjoyed hot food provided by the restaurant, as well as drink specials and tunes from local band Suyat. The event was a run up to the big show, the Concert For Brendan on November 27. The concert, in its second year, will be held at the Wellmont Theater in Montclair and feature Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes as headliners. Proceeds from both fundraisers will benefit the Brendan P. Tevlin ’13 Memorial Field Fund, which aims to name an athletic field at Seton Hall Prep after the slain teen.
Tevlin, a 19-year-old Livingston resident and Seton Hall Prep graduate, was killed on June 25, 2014. He was traveling home from a friend’s in West Orange when he was shot while stopped at a red light. The alleged killer, Ali Muhammad Brown, plead not guilty in August and will face trial soon.
Tevlin’s personal motto was, “good vibes and easy living.” Indeed, the mood at Grasshopper Wednesday night was jovial; guests of varying ages filled their plates with penne vodka and chicken francese, imbibed beers and specialty cocktails, and maintaining an air of high spirits. Mark DeCicco, co chairman of Brendan Tevlin Concert, said the event embodies Tevlin’s ideal “100 percent.” DeCicco and Tevlin’s father, Mike, are childhood friends, and DeCicco began the concert to honor Tevlin’s memory and cope with the loss.
“Losing Brendan was so hard,” he said. “It was incredibly difficult.”
DeCicco and concert co-chair John Butkus wanted to put together an event that would allow people to remember Tevlin as well we focus on what’s good and precious about life. A concert was the perfect fit.
“We decided to do a concert because we can get all of our family and friends together and celebrate Brendan's life,” he said.
Mark Suyat, lead singer of Suyat, said when the opportunity arose to play for the event, the band jumped right on it. Many of the members of Suyat are also Seton Hall Prep alum, and are familiar with the Tevlin family.
“We wanted to help out, it’s for a good cause,” Suyat said.
The evening was a success, and a wonderful way to preserve Tevlin’s legacy.
“Brendan would have been honored,” DeCicco said. “He was such a great kid.”