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SU alumni, students stage Feb. 19 theatrical production 'A Night at the Sands' to benefit Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central New York

February 02, 2010

Allison Porzio

When Syracuse University alumnus Michael Dominick '07 was five years old, his younger brother was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Three years later, his family took a trip to Disney World courtesy of the Make-A-Wish Foundation®. Since then, Dominick has gone on to repay Make-A-Wish through theatrical production fundraisers in the Philadelphia area. Now, he is bringing his work to Syracuse and enlisting the help of SU alumni and current students in the process.

On Friday, Feb. 19, Dominick and a group of 17 SU alumni and students will present “A Night at the Sands” at the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel & Conference Center to benefit Make-A-Wish of Central New York. The show features the music of Frank Sinatra, performed by SU student Davis Haines, who is a sophomore in the School of Education, and Dean Martin, performed by Dominick.

The pair will perform such favorites as “My Way” and “That’s Amore.” An orchestra pit composed of SU musicians and student-composer/conductor Stefan Schuck, a senior in the College of Visual and Performing Arts, will provide original arrangements to accompany the singers. Between songs, Dominick and Haines will keep the crowd entertained with skits compiled from material from Frank and Dean shows of the 1960s.

Admission for “A Night at the Sands” is $40 per person or $300 for a table of eight. Tickets include dinner, the show and complimentary hotel parking. The evening begins with a cocktail hour at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m. and the performance at 8 p.m.

To purchase tickets, contact Dominick at (215) 272-5032 or or via mail to 4317 Arlington Circle, Liverpool, N.Y. 13090. Checks can be made payable to Duminuco Productions.

This year’s event marks the fifth time Dominick has produced the fundraiser under the auspices of his production company, Duminuco Productions. In total, he has raised more than $20,000 for Make-A-Wish. “This one is much bigger,” he says. “The orchestra has doubled, we have the buffet dinner, and Davis is the most accomplished Sinatra I’ve ever worked with.”

Dominick’s brother, who fought four relapses of cancer and eventually won the battle, has been cancer free for 13 years. For Dominick, the fundraiser allows him to help others experience the happy moments that come with a wish–moments like his family’s trip to Disney World. “Between the Children’s Hospital taking such good care of my brother and Make-A-Wish giving him the spirit of life, I don’t think my family will ever feel like they’ve done enough to return the favor,” he says.

Make-A-Wish of Central New York grants wishes to children plagued by life-threatening illnesses who live in the local region. Wishes range from traveling on vacations and meeting celebrities to going on a shopping spree. The average cost of a wish is $9,000, and the organization relies on outside fundraisers, such as “A Night at the Sands,” to raise money.

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