Southampton Cultural Center Gives Back with A Salute to Community Heroes


This year, many annual fundraising galas for East End arts institutions have been re-envisioned as virtual benefits intended to remind the community that the organizations need support now more than ever. Southampton Cultural Center (SCC) is taking a different approach, opting to replace this year’s Evening of Wine & Roses benefit with A Salute to Community Heroes, a free online event honoring the MVPs of the pandemic on Saturday, September 26.

“We felt it was time to honor and celebrate our nurses, doctors, first responders and all other essential workers,” says SCC Co-Chair Stan Glinka. “Therefore, we decided to replace our annual gala with A Salute to Community Heroes. Instead of asking, we want to give back.”

The new virtual event takes the form of a montage of SCC performances celebrating the courage and commitment of first responders, nurses, doctors and other essential workers who bravely served the East End community through the worst of the COVID-19 crisis. Gabriele & Marano and Sound Aircraft Services are also being honored for their continued support of SCC.

The broadcast begins on on September 26 at 7 p.m. It’s emceed by beloved WLNG broadcaster Bonnie Grice and includes brief remarks by SCC Board Members and Co-Chairs, Stan Glinka and Craig Ruhling and Executive Director Kirsten Lonnie. The lineup of performances highlights the dynamic range of content produced at SCC—including highlights from Center Stage Concerts with numbers from Dear Evan Hanson, A Chorus Line, Cabaret and Phantom of the Opera with Ava Bianchi, Jennifer DeMeo, Darren Ottati and Bobby Peterson; a performance by award-winning pianist Nathan Lee of the Rising Stars Piano Series; a sample of dance programs including lively Cuban salsa; a performance by the East End Youth Quartet, who’ve participated in SCC’s annual Southampton Strings Festival; a taste of Boots on the Ground Theater’s historical theater performances including The Miracle Worker, The Red Badge of Courage and Sherlock’s Secret Life; and South Fork Performing Arts youth theater productions of Freaky Friday and Frozen.

Register for A Salute to Community Heroes for free at

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