Newsday: Gala Helps Kids Go To Camp

By GLENN GAMBOA

Newsday.com

Debbie Gibson has a lot going on.

She’s planning her first tour with fellow ’80s teen sensation Tiffany, which stops at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury on July 29. She’s working on a new album, which she believes will be her ” Tina Turner comeback moment” later this year. And she’s looking for more acting roles like last year’s successful “Mega Python vs. Gatoroid” movie.

But the Merrick native also is looking to give back, through her Electric Youth Summer Camp and her new Gibson Girl Foundation, which will hold its inaugural gala Monday at Oheka Castle in Huntington .

What made you want to start Gibson Girl Foundation?

Times are tough. A lot of schools don’t have money for the arts anymore, on Long Island especially. My parents somehow managed to pay for lessons, but it’s gotten harder. When the choice is between putting food on the table and dance class, we know what’s going to give. My foundation lets students apply for financial aid to go to whatever arts summer camp they get into. It could be in Asia; it could be in Idaho . We want to help them do it.

Why hold a gala?

I really wanted to bring it home. I wanted to honor the place where I had my artistic upbringing and honor some who have contributed to the foundation and have a few of the kids from my summer camp perform.

You’ve also gotten Merrick ‘s Robbie Rosen on board.

It’s nice to see another Long Islander done good. . . . His “Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word” was so stunning, so he’ll do that and we’re going to duet on a song. It’s going to be a really fun, festive, inspirational event.

WHAT The Gibson Girl Foundation Gala featuring Debbie Gibson and Robbie Rosen

WHEN | WHERE 6 p.m. Monday, Oheka Castle, 135 West Gate Dr., Huntington , 631-659-1400

INFO $250; gibsongirlfoundation.org

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