Giving Back

SPARC’ling Evening of Song Raises More Than $20,000 for Summit Schools Performing Arts

From left, event co-chairs Chrissy Floegel, Melanie Wilson, and Angeli Breen don masks for the “Masquerade Party” theme.

SUMMIT, NJ - The Sixth Annual SPARC'ling Evening of Song raised more than $20,000 for the performing arts programs in Summit public schools.

Monies raised by the event allows the Summit Performing Arts Resource Committee (SPARC) to help bridge the gap between funds budgeted by the school district and money actually needed for Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School (LCJSMS) and Summit High School (SHS) to continue to stage award-winning productions, which engage hundreds of students as cast, crew, and pit members.  
This year, $15,000 raised during the Reverse Auction will go toward the purchase of the rights for the SHS spring musical, “Mary Poppins” and the LCJSMS spring musical, “Hairspray.” It will also pay for custom costumes for the Hairspray production.
SPARC, which is about to celebrate its 20-year anniversary of supporting performing arts in Summit, also promotes public speaking through the Speech and Debate program and TEDx; and dancers through the STEP team. Each year, SPARC recognizes student achievement with student scholarships, and also funds theatrical productions at all five Summit public elementary schools.
The event -- which featured a "Masquerade Party" theme -- was emceed by Former LCJSMS Principal Matt Block, who is now director of human resources for the district. He engaged the crowd immediately with his version of “SPARC’ling Tonight,” based on “Comedy Tonight.” 

The show was emceed by Former LCJSMS Principal Matt Block, now director of human resources for the district. He engaged the crowd immediately with his version of “SPARC’ling Tonight,” based on “Comedy Tonight.” 
“This was the perfect event for so many in Summit to show their support for Summit performing arts,” Block said. “The venue was top-notch, the piano sounded magnificent, and our singers and accompanists helped raise money for such an important cause. I had so much fun, and am thrilled to have been part of such a successful event!”

For several hours, graduates of Summit High School and current faculty dazzled the musical-loving crowd with Broadway favorites. Performers included Melanie Porras, Tim Lynch, Greg Archer, Dan Rufolo, Shabazz Green, Gillian Hassert, Wayne Mallette, Julian Gordon, Lulu Guerrero, Sebastian Madrigal, Keenan Buckley, and Matt McGinn. Piano accompanists included Yoav Efron, Jim Mion, and Julian Gordon.  

SPARC’ling Evening of Song was chaired by Angeli Breen, Chrissy Floegel, and Melanie Wilson.  Committee members include President Jean Marie Apruzzese, Stephanie Beardsley, Stacy Beckett, Vice-President Diane Carlson, Noelle Gray, Lopa Gupta, Treasurer Jesse Reyes, Fundraising Chair Nellie Stewart, Secretary Lucy Thompson, and Jennifer Vandersteen, as well as the many volunteers who helped throughout the evening.  

For more information on SPARC,visit, or contact Jean Marie Apruzzese at

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