by Sasha Hulse
Cardozo Verdict
March 2010

The first big fundraiser for Jayden Zapata, a child diagnosed with cerebral palsy who is awaiting a surgery which will give him a chance to walk, took place on Wednesday, March 3rd. The Open Mic event took place at the Producer’s Club, located at 358 W 44th Street. Hal Eisenberg and Mary O’Brien, former Cardozo SPARK counselors organized and hosted the event, with the help of seniors Matthew Pinchasick and Brandely Franco. Windows of Opportunity, a program run by Eisenberg, organized the performances, of mostly Cardozo students and alumni.

SPARK students were also present to lend a helping hand at the show. To start the show off, Ian Lane read a powerful poem, which was a reflection of his life. Next were
Jelia Singleton and Krystina Diaz, who sang their hearts out to Aaliyah’s “Journey to the Past.” Tom Hayden, a crowd favorite, followed with a little bit of magic tricks and a lot of humor. Then, a former SPARK student and Cardozo graduate, Leah Orpah Williams sang “Killing Me Softly,” by Lauren Hill. Following her were John Bostic, Geremi Acevedo, and Victor Song who performed a song that Bostic wrote himself while Acevedo sang along and Song played guitar.

After the “Sparkies” showed off their talent, O.I.S.D., an all make rap group, which consisted of an R&B singer named Jayvon Phillips and a rapper known as Loco
Menaj performed. They premiered their music video and then sang their new single “The Loco.”

With Jayden and his family present, the night was complete. Jayden showed his enjoyment by bouncing around to the music.

With over 100 people present, the event raised close to $400, “which is a very good start,” said Ms. O’Brien. However, their goal is to reach $15,000 and Eisenberg and
O’Brien plan on hosting more events necessary to raise the necessary funds.