Coffee House 2011

Coffee House 2011

Avra Bossov ('11)/ Eastside Editor-in-Chief

Sign promoting the event.

Hundreds of members of the Cherry Hill East community gathered on January 22 to attend East’s Sixth Annual Coffee House, benefitting D’s Dawgs. Beginning at 7 p.m., Coffee House featured performances in Cafeteria 2, along with various activities and baked goods, T-shirts and artwork made by students for sale in Cafeteria 1. By the end of the night, $5,000 was raised for the D’s Dawgs foundation.

D’s Dawgs, this year’s cause, is especially pertinent to the East community, as the foundation was formed after Danielle Bledy, who would have been a graduating senior this year, suffered a brain aneurism in the winter of 2006. The foundation spreads awareness about brain aneurisms and donates proceeds to help fund brain aneurism research.

“Each year, the cause is usually something personally felt within the East community,” said Ian Parker (’11), an emcee of the event. “It’s definitely one of the best nights of the year.”

In light of the cause, the theme for Coffee House featured dogs, including a dog house cut-out as the backdrop of the stage, a bone saying “D’s Dawgs” hanging over the stage and Snoopy characters and dog bones hanging all over the ceiling of Cafeteria 2.

As explained by the Bledy family, D’s Dawgs is named so because “D” was Danielle’s nickname and “Dawgs” symbolizes her friends and her love for dogs.

Emceed by Zach Siegel (’11) and Parker, the acts began with Danielle Clark (’11), Mehak Basu (’11), Eric Zimmerman (’13), Kevin Cook (’11) and John DiNunzio (’11) performances “Rhythm of Love.” Next up was East Singers performing the customary “Java Jive” to honor the coffee aspect of Coffee House.

Then Clare Gilooly (’13), Steph Berman (’13), Lauren Berman (’11) and Griffin Back (’11) sang “Valentine,” brothers Chris Heinze (’12) and Nick Heinze (’14) performed “Two of Us,” and then Samantha Pleat (’12) sang “Butterfly Fly Away.”

Following these performances was a presentation by the Bledy family about D’s Dawgs. Since holding its first fundraiser in June of 2003, with the 5K run that used East as its central location, D’s Dawgs has gone on to raise thousands of dollars for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, local animal shelters and even created scholarships for East seniors, including $1,000 awarded to any senior interested in becoming a veterinarian, and added this year, an additional $1,000 scholarship for any senior that will be studying art or photography, as all three were among Danielle’s interests.

“East has been really great to us, because of the [5K] run, and it’s just so meaningful to us [for D’s Dawgs to be tonight’s cause]. We’re honored,” said Mrs. Bledy, during intermission later. “Danielle would have been so touched by all the animal toys and decorations. Thanks to everybody so much for choosing us.”

After the audience learned about D’s Dawgs, Kneehigh Spunk performed an original song ,“New Years,” Namarah McCall (’11) mashed up “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “What a Wonderful World,” and Jonathan Landa (’13) played “Chopin Etude No. 4” on piano.

Other acts followed, including Mike Buono (’12) singing “Everything,” the junior girls of D-wing singing “Mama Who Bore Me,” Melanie Mendel (’12) and Pleat singing “Some Things Are Meant to Be,” and Sheena Gopal (’11) dancing to “Mushaboom.”

“I’m excited to perform. We’ve been practicing really hard and it’s nice to give our talent to the community,” said Tiara Deguzman (’12) before the junior girls act.

David Turner (’12) and Jonah Bannett (’13) added some humor, as Bannett wore a dress and the two sang “Lovely,” followed by Joy Frankenfield (’13) and Dakota Judge (’13) singing “American Honey” and Cat Cargen (’11) and Heather Hyon (’11) singing “Meant to Be.”

“[Performing here] is great for the charity and great for us,” said Judge.

Next came an act of senior boys (Ananth Kumar, Ben Katz, Alex Swartz and Aaron Weinstein), performing their rendition of “Follow You Down.”

“I’ve never performed before, but it should be fun and it’s for a good cause,” said Kumar before his act.

Weinstein agreed.

“It’s also my first time performing, but I’m excited. Overall it’s a good event and I get to socialize and perform with my friends,” he said.

It was at that time the emcees announced $2300 had been raised thus far.

Following that act was a fifteen-minute intermission, during which guests could pay to play Wii games and jump in the moon bounce sponsored by SGA, buy D’s Dawgs T-shirts, wristbands or hats, enjoy coffee and other refreshments, or buy various items, from greeting cards to ceramic plates to jewelry, made by students enrolled in art classes at East.

Bringing everyone back from intermission were Ilse Garcia Romero (’11) and Gopal singing “What You’re Told,” then Nupur Mital (’11), Sam Fechtman Cordero (’11) and Jen Ho (’11) singing “Now and For Always,” and then another sibling act of Arielle Sosland (’11) and Sarah Sosland (’14) singing “Secondary Characters,” which also incorporated humor into vocals, as demonstrated by saying to the accompanist “you’re just the piano player,” a quip that got the audience chuckling.

Then Inspiration East performed Cee Lo Green’s catchy “Forget You,” followed by another dancing act of Megan McGee (’12) and Erica Gorenberg (’11) and then a solo performance by Emily Bevington (’13) singing “Valerie.”

“I know people in the show, so I’m here to support my friends,” said Naveen Kahn (’12).

Next were Chloe Gold (’11) and Alex Faye (’11) combining acting and singing with “Romeo and Juliet,” then the harmonies of Gaby Chapman (’13), Michal Kortsarts (’13), accompanied by Siegel on guitar, singing “Only Exception.” Then came Jonah Levinson (’13), Landa and Seanna McCall (’13) singing and playing “Piano Man,” during which they solicited the audience to sing along. Following that act was S. Berman, Gillooly and Effie Ferti (’13) combining “Halo” and “Walking on Sunshine.”

At this time, Mr. Tom Weaver and Mrs. Laurie Lausi thanked everyone for attending and for their support, then mentioned some upcoming events to showcase talent, such as Kaleidoscope Night next month.

As a closing act, nicknamed “Buffalo Austin,” Brad Cutler (’11), Swartz, Katz, Jonathan Silverstone (’11), Gary Reiff (’11) and Ben Tice (’11), with Nick Cavaliere (’12) as well, performed “Chariot.”

As the few hundred guests left around 10 p.m., each departed upon witnessing great talent, with wallets considerably lighter and warm hearts, as the East community honored Danielle Bledy in supporting D’s Dawgs.