Brightside Project presenting America’s Got Talent’s Daniel Ferguson
WHAT: The Brightside Project Masquerade Ball
WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28.
WHERE: Salem Golf Club
FEATURING: America’s Got Talent singing impressionist Daniel Ferguson
AND: DJ Branden, silent and raffle auctions, best mask contest, cash bar
COST: $40 per person, tickets sold online only
SALEM — Singing impressionist Daniel Ferguson from America’s Got Talent will lend his cast of voices to help the Brightside Project when he headlines the Salem area non-profit’s first Masquerade Ball fundraiser at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Salem Golf Club.
The Austintown Fitch grad who competed this summer on AGT Season 12 is scheduled to perform and emcee the event, sponsored by Rooted Red Creative, a marketing and graphics company based out of Louisville, Ky. and owned by Salem native Renee Reithel.
Reithel is the daughter of Brightside Project founder Scott Lewis, whose mission is to help children who may need a hand or just someone to listen to them. He said they just learned about Ferguson’s availability to do the event two weeks ago.
“We were excited that he said yes,” Lewis said by phone.
According to a press release about the event, Ferguson was eliminated in the Judges’ Cut round of AGT, but made quite the impression on all four of the famous judges by voicing popular characters like Goofy, Mickey Mouse and Kermit the Frog singing DCCE’s “Cake by the Ocean” during his audition. Afterwards, Judge Simon Cowell was quoted as saying “Thank God for you today because I was beginning to lose the will to live,” the press release said.
Reithel said it is an honor to support her hometown and she hopes people come out to see Ferguson and support the Brightside Project.
Lewis said it should be a fun night, with DJ Branden Morales providing music for dancing, hors d’oeuvres and desserts available, along with a cash bar, a silent auction, raffle auction and a prize for the best mask. Attendees can dress in full costume or just dress in cocktail attire and wear a mask. There will also be a wine table — with corks going for $25 each for a chance at wines ranging in value from $20 a bottle to $100 a bottle.
The organization plans to recognize three community bright spots during the inaugural Masquerade Ball, making the awards an annual part of the festivities as a way to thank people who seem to go out of the way to help the community and who have helped the Brightside Project with its mission.
This year’s honorees include Salem and Columbiana Chrysler Jeep Dodge owner John Kufleitner, Salem Police Chief J.T. Panezott and Salem Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Audrey Null.
Lewis said all three do a lot for the Salem community. Kufleitner never hesitates when Brightside Project needs a van for a pop-up visit in a neighborhood or to go to a school. Panezott helped with locations for visits, telling the group members which neighborhoods may benefit from their presence. Null lets the Brightside Project use the chamber’s board room for meetings and is always working for the community.
Tickets for the ball are $40 each, available online only, at www.brightsideprojectohio.org.
Some of the items to be auctioned off during the silent auction include a private wine sampling and dinner for eight at Peachtree Southern Kitchen in Hudson, four reserved seats to a Youngstown State University basketball game, an overnight stay and breakfast for two at Spread Eagle Tavern in Hanoverton and many other donated items. Lewis said the community came together with a lot of good stuff for a good cause.
The whole idea is to raise funds so the Brightside Project can purchase its first mobile unit for visiting neighborhoods where life can be hard for the children. Lewis said they actually found a vehicle that really fits their vision — an old bookmobile unit used by the Cleveland Public Library. There has already been a test drive and members of the board overseeing the Brightside Project have checked it out. He’s hoping the Masquerade Ball can put the purchase within reach.
What the Brightside Project does is “very much needed. There are a lot of kids that need reached out to and mentored,” he said.
The kids are provided with basic necessities and people who care. Lewis said they have had eight or nine pop-up events and participated in the recent Quakerfest in downtown Salem. In August, the group parked a bus in downtown Salem to collect school supplies that teachers can have in their rooms for children in need. They ended up delivering three totes of school supplies to Salem schools.
“We want to do good things,” Lewis said.