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Councilman Mayoka, Building Homes for Heroes, Engeman Theatre Announce “Broadway Salute” to benefit Lt. Kevin Byler

NORTHPORT, NY – This morning, at the John W. Engeman Theatre in Northport, NY, Councilman Mark Mayoka announced the first events for Building Homes for Huntington Heroes, an organization designed to help accommodate those whom are wounded or disabled in service to our nation.

The first home being renovated is that of Lt. James Byler, a Huntington area soldier whom stepped on an Improvised Explosive Device in Afghanistan, severely injuring him, costing him both legs and fingers on each hand. Major renovations are required to make Lt. Byler’s house handicapped accessible.

Councilman Mayoka proposed the resolution to create the organization stating that he was “grateful for those who have come to aid since the beginning of this great nation” and that he wanted to ensure that the house was “made accessible because he [Lt. Byler] was a Huntington Hero.”

Supervisor Frank Petrone, who also attended the press conference, lauded Mayoka for leading the charge towards the resolution that formed the organization.

Building Homes for Heroes president Andy Pujol, spoke about the importance of the project, stating that “He’ll know he was loved, respected, and honored by his country and community.” In his statement he also took the time to laud, what he called the unsung heroes, the parents of military members whom are deployed into combat.

The first major fundraiser being held with for the organization is a “Broadway Salute” event, being held on June 24th at the John Engeman theatre in an event that has been described as “Broadway Unplugged.” The theatre has been actively involved in military charities since it opened five years ago, after its namesake was killed in Iraq and has either directly or indirectly donated over a half-million dollars to charitable causes.

Additionally, casting director Stephen DeAngelis announced the first three of five names appearing at the concert: Andy Karl (Wicked), Jennifer Wills (Phantom), and Orfeh (Legally Blonde). The remaining two leading names will be announced next week.

Theatre founder Kevin O’ Neill, commenting on the project stated “this is a no brainer, this goal should be met.” Mr. O’ Neill has set a fundraising goal for the event at over $10,000.

In addition to the fundraising event on June 24th, Councilman Mayoka announced that BAE Systems had pledged a $15,000 donation to Building Homes for Huntington Heroes. Donna Linke, site executive for BAE systems, cited BAE’s commitment to “protecting those who protect us”, before stating “that it’s important to support the military both on and off the battlefield.”

The Broadway Salute concert at John W. Engeman Theater is June 24th; tickets are $75 a piece.

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