From R&B and folk music to country, pop and blues, StarNight has attracted a wide range of popular entertainers from all musical genres to headline the annual fundraising event that supports the work of Siskin Children’s Institute.
The Institute will celebrate the 50th anniversary of StarNight on Aug. 25, an event that has become one of our community’s most highly-anticipated happenings each year.
Multi -platinum singer-songwriter Josh Turner will headline this year's StarNight Golden Jubilee. The night's theme will feature a nostalgic look back at StarNights of yesteryear as the Institute celebrates 50 years of community support for this gala event that has helped—and continues to benefit—so many children and families. In the early 1960s, Institute co-founders brothers Mose and Garrison Siskin established the 365 Club, the Siskin Memorial Foundation’s annual fund that encouraged the community to give “a penny a day or more” to assist those with disabilities. In October 1962, the brothers organized a 365 Club benefit show, the forerunner to today’s StarNight.
Through the years, StarNight has featured an impressive list of some of music’s most talented legendary and rising stars, including popular performers like Jim Nabors, Dinah Shore, Connie Francis and Tony Bennett, who graced the StarNight stage through the 60s to modern acts like Hootie and the Blowfish, LeAnn Rimes, Sugarland, Boyz II Men, Trisha Yearwood and Kenny Rogers.
“The music sure has changed since the first StarNight back in 1962,” laughed Mary Barker, who, along with her husband Jack, has attended every StarNight event. “But it’s clear that the cause to help children and families remains the same. We haven’t missed a StarNight yet, and we don’t intend to! It’s the best event of the year!”
All proceeds from StarNight go directly to benefit the children and families served through the Institute’s four areas of focus: education, outreach, health care and research. In the past two decades, the StarNight event has raised more than $3 million on behalf of children and families in our community and surrounding areas.
And with the support of area businesses, such as Starkey Printing Company, a StarNight sponsor, the Institute is more equipped to adequately and appropriately meet the needs of children with and without special needs. In 2010-2011 more than 1,500 children were served through the Siskin Early Learning Centers, the Siskin Center for Child and Family Research, outreach services and the Siskin Center for Developmental Pediatrics.
“Starkey has been a proud supporter of Siskin Children’s Institute for more than 30 years,” said John Shadden, owner and chief executive officer of Starkey Printing Company. “We [my wife and I] know firsthand what parents go through with a child with special needs. I’m walking in those shoes, and I will continue to support the Institute so that more families and children can benefit from the quality resources and services provided there.”
StarNight Golden Jubilee is co-chaired by husband and wife team Phyllis and Grady Williams, also long-time supporters of the Institute and leaders in the community.
StarNight opens with a cocktail reception, beginning at 6 p.m., and a formal dinner followed by Turner’s performance with an intimate, small venue feel. An after-party with dancing and live DJ rounds out the night.
For more information about StarNight Golden Jubilee and to purchase tickets, visit http://www.siskin.org/starnight or call 648-1707. Gold and Silver tables and Individual gala tickets are still available.