Bronx ‘Elvis’ raises money for nonprofit with virtual concert

Bronx resident and renowned Elvis impersonator Gene DiNapoli performed virtually “The Show Must Go On!”last week to raise money for non-profit VISIONS/Services for the Blind & Visually Impaired
Photo courtesy Non-profit VISIONS/Services for the Blind & Visually Impaired

While quarantined at home last week, Bronxites were treated to a concert from the comfort of their own couches.

On April 17, Bronx resident and renowned Elvis Presley impersonator Gene DiNapoli, performed “The Show Must Go On!” virtual concert.

The nonprofit organization, VISIONS/Services for the Blind & Visually Impaired, had already selected DiNapoli as the 2020 Community Advocate Award recipient. However, due to coronavirus restrictions, the Bronx/Westchester Advisory Board canceled this year’s annual fundraiser, potentially hampering the nonprofit’s efforts to offer its free services during this time of mandatory isolation.

But COVID-19 did not stop DiNapoli from getting “all shook up” and putting on an entertaining show.

From his Bronx home, he streamed an online watch party, where he performed his repertoire of Elvis songs and pop tunes, while his wife and stagehand Paulette DiNapoli took requests and encouraged the audience to donate.

DiNapoli is known as “Mr. Entertainment,” not only for his singing style and showcases, but also for his television appearances. As a TV star, Di Napoli has appeared on the show “America’s Most Badass” on the American Heroes channel, during which he narrated Elvis Presley stories.

Besides raising $5,300, which will go toward VISIONS’ free services, Di Napoli’s comedic flair infused the fun event, bringing a much-needed respite of joy to everyone who participated.

Nancy Miller, LMSW, the executive director and CEO of VISIONS, thanked everyone who contributed and noted that a number of donations were made in the memory of someone lost to the virus.

VISIONS is a 94-year-old vision rehabilitation and social service organization that provides free services to individuals of all ages who are blind or visually impaired. The organization offers services throughout the New York metro area.

The nonprofit plans to put on more virtual concerts in the future. For updates, visit the VISIONS website.

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