Shine A Light concert raises $10K for playground


The Shine A Light Music Series continued at Cannon’s Blackthorn in Rockville Centre on June 23, marking the 10th show of its kind since the Tommy Brull Foundation, a local nonprofit, began staging the event in 2011.

The concert, organized by Martin Brull in memory of his brother, Tommy, who died in an accident in 1999, brought in more than 500 people wanting to see rocker Kurt Vile and the Violators. Julie Byrne was a special guest.

About $10,000 was raised at the event, Martin said, as proceeds will benefit the building of Mr. B’s Playground, a special-needs-accessible play space named in honor of longtime Recreation Superintendent Anthony Brunetta that is planned for the northwest corner of North Forest Avenue and Sunrise Highway, adjacent to Hickey Field. A Vile-signed guitar was auctioned off for $850.

The Brull Foundation, which has donated more than $500,000 to Camp ANCHOR in Lido Beach and other local causes to help individuals with special needs, had previously raised more than $50,000 for the playground through concerts and other fundraisers.

“Our concerts aren’t focused only on raising money,” Martin said. “They’re about bringing good artists and remembering my brother…but this was very successful.”

Martin noted it was cool to see Vile, who often plays in much larger venues, roll up in his tour bus and perform in such an intimate setting in front of a crowd from around the country. A meet-and-greet before the show was followed by a 100-minute set, which included a performance of “That’s Life, Tho,” which he dedicated to Tommy.

“The band really saw the vision of what we were trying to go after,” Martin said, “and they were really grateful to be a part of it and really happy to play for such a good cause.”