During the summer of 2015 dancer Michael Apuzzo of Paul Taylor Dance Company, and event planner/former Broadway performer Eric Gunhus came up with the idea to bring a new and fresh event to East Hampton: a dance festival of some the most prestigious dance companies and prominent dancers in the world, sharing their gifts to raise funds in support of the arts and the local community.
Michael & Eric soon partnered with author and fashion/food expert Hal Rubenstein, engineering VP David Nickle and their not-for-profit Fund In The Sun Foundation, an organization with a long history of successful benefits in Fire Island Pines. The four decided to combine their efforts and the collaboration brought Dancers For Good to life with last summer’s popular inaugural event.
The name Dancers For Good is two-fold in meaning: Dance is a discipline that stays with the dancer for life…for good. Additionally, this event brings together incredible dancers eager to give their time, talents and energy for charitable philanthropy…to do good. This celebration allows all of us an opportunity to experience Dancers For Good.
DANCERS FOR GOOD MISSION STATEMENT
Dancers For Good is a fundraising event operating under Fund In The Sun Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit. Dancers For Good’s mission is to:
- Bring the best of contemporary, ballet and Broadway dance to the community
- Raise funds to support the dance community and other entertainment professionals in need
- Support the local community with a focus on organizations that support and foster the arts.
Dancers For Good 2016 will benefit social service programs of The Actors Fund, including The Dancers’ Resource/Career Transition For Dancers.
The evening will also benefit the Paul Taylor Dance Foundation of Paul Taylor Dance Company.
Dancers For Good is an event that collects and distributes funds as outlined in a manner at all times consistent with the exclusive charitable purposes of Fund In The Sun Foundation within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Fund in the Sun Foundation was established in 2006 as a not-for-profit public charity dedicated to the LGBT community and Fire Island Pines. With a primary focus for the past 11 years on smaller HIV/AIDS related youth and adult organizations and youth enhancement, growth, and protection organizations that do not have the infrastructure to raise money easily, FITS has provided grants totaling over $1 million to over 30 different charities and other nonprofits.
MEET THE PRODUCERS
MICHAEL APUZZO has been performing with Paul Taylor Dance Company for the past eight seasons and has his own certified personal training business in addition to co-producing Dancers For Good. He graduated Yale University studying Economics and Theater and performed in the national tour of Broadway’s Movin’ Out. He’s a published author (Flying Through Yellow) and a second degree Black Belt in Tae-Kwon-Do. He thanks Eric, Hal and David for the friendships and endless efforts in presenting this event, as well as PTAMD for their support with our first all-dance fundraiser.
ERIC GUNHUS is the owner of EG Event Group, a full-spectrum event planning, design and management company serving Greater New York City, The Hamptons and destinations beyond. As an event planner Eric creates events for the discriminating client looking to hold highly customized social or corporate affairs with an artistic and disciplined approach derived from the traditions of the theater. His business is rooted in his ten years as a successful Broadway performer where he appeared in shows including the original casts of The Producers and Billy Elliot, and over twenty years in theater overall. Eric is particularly proud of Dancers For Good’s support of The Actors Fund they were instrumental in his transition from Broadway to business owner. He is never happier than when merging his theatrical background with event production and his clients continue to be a source of creative joy and fulfillment. Originally from Des Moines, Iowa, Eric resides in New York City and East Hampton with his partner Howard Williams. Please visit www.egeventgroup.com
DAVID NICKLE serves as a Vice President of HAKS Engineering in New York City. As a 20-year resident of both NYC and Fire Island Pines, he and his husband Hal Rubenstein partnered with two friends to create Fund in the Sun Foundation (FITS), a 501(c)3, not-for-profit organization as a way to give back to the beach community and other charities of interest to the community. Over the past 10-years, FITS has organized many exciting events on Fire Island and in New York City including exclusive shopping events in NYC, an intimate concert evening in the Pines with Bernadette Peters, and large multi-day dance celebrations in the Pines; Bay Dance and Ascension Party Weekend. Having raised and distributed grants through FITS totaling more than $1-million and provided these grants to over 30 different organizations, David is thrilled to join his Dancers For Good partners to bring more professional dance to the Hamptons. This event is geared uniquely to the Hamptons, maintaining a more intimate and decidedly upscale feeling enjoyed in one of America’s most beautiful communities, both summer and winter.
HAL RUBENSTEIN is an author, journalist, restaurant critic, designer and philanthropist. One of the founding editors at InStyle magazine, he served as its Fashion Director for fifteen years, following a five year run as Men’s Style Director at The New York Times Magazine. In fall 2013, he launched his eponymous women’s collection on HSN and formed Hal Rubenstein & Associates, which has provided private consultation for such diverse brands as Gabriel&Co. jewelers, BR Guest Restaurants, the Raleigh Hotel, Giorgio Armani, and American Express. In addition to penning The Looks of Love (Harper Design, 2015), 100 Unforgettable Dresses (Harper Design, 2011) and Paisley Goes with Nothing (Doubleday, 1995) Rubenstein is Special Projects editor at Architectural Digest, a columnist for Forbes.com, and has been a contributing editor to The New Yorker, New York Magazine, Interview, Elle, Vogue, Vanity Fair, and Details. Rubenstein is co-founder and co-director of the Fund in the Sun Foundation, and serves on the boards of Live Out Loud, the Hetrick-Martin Institute and the Paul Taylor Dance Company, On television he has appeared on Good Morning America, The Today Show, Extra, E! and The View. Rubenstein lives with his husband, David Nickle, and his dog, Murray, in New York City.