On a typical weekend, the Long Island Puppet Theater in Hicksville, Long Island’s oldest puppet theater, showcases exciting professional puppet shows and hosts children’s birthday parties. But on Saturday night December 28, the theatre will be hosting a different kind of show, one that is sure to be just as exciting – albeit a little louder – and it’s all to help kids.
It’s called The Punk Rock for the Puppets & Holiday Toy Drive show, a benefit show that will help fund complimentary puppet shows at the theater for children in need. A toy collection will also take place and all toys donated will go to the John Thiessen Children’s Foundation, a non-profit organization that offers sick and needy children toys throughout the holiday season and the year.
The show, which kicks off at 7 p.m., will feature a lineup of some of Long Island’s top punk rock bands including Cherry Pop, Jones Crusher, Trickfall & The Tuscaderos, Knottie Boys, The Going Rate, and Sunrise Network.
In addition to the live music, DJs will be spinning retro garage and punk rock and new wave. The event will also have an art exhibition and tarot card readings, and refreshments will be available from Holbrook’s 1940’s Brewing Company.
Tom Conklin, the organizer, producer, and promotor of the show, said the event brings together a variety of musicians and bands and gives them an opportunity to share their brand of live music and collaborate with a group of people to support children in need. He added that the Long Island Puppet Theater is a unique venue.
Conklin is a special education teacher at a residential facility in Port Jefferson and has seen the positive work of the John Theissen Children’s Foundation firsthand. He has been present many times over the years when the organization visited the school to give gifts to the school’s special needs students. He said, “They definitely put much needed smiles on the faces of these children year after year… If I can give back to them to further support their mission I consider myself honored to do so.”
He will also be coordinating future puppet shows and pizza parties at the theater for children who are facing unfortunate challenges such as illness. The money raised at this fundraiser will go toward funding those special events.
Admission to The Punk Rock for the Puppets & Holiday Toy Drive show, which is open to those ages 18 and over, is $10 with a toy donation. Toys should be new and unwrapped. Guests will receive a free raffle ticket with each admission which is good for a free beer, wine, or soda and a chance to win a smart TV.
The Long Island Puppet Theater is located at 10 Heitz Place in Hicksville. Show time is from 7 – 11 p.m. For more information about the show, visit the event Facebook page or the Long Island Puppet Theater website. Learn more about the John Theissen Children’s Foundation at http://jtcf.org/.