March 22, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Astoria, Queens NY
Imagine being handed a recording of your son's last heartbeat.
In October 2013, this was the gift that Christine Perrelli received from her husband Anthony just hours after their 26-year-old son became an organ donor.
On April 6, thanks to musician Jarvis Green, choreographer Kerry McManus and volunteers from The AJ Project, Christine's dream of producing a music and dance piece inspired by AJ's heartbeat will come to life at the AJ Project's 3rd Annual Friend Raiser for Organ Donor Awareness.
"People ask me why I am started the AJ Project and why we choose to advocate for organ donation. What I tell them is here we are five years later and because of AJ’s story and The AJ Project I can still talk about my son like a proud momma. I get to brag of his accomplishments as an artists and his generosity as a donor. I always hope that his story will inspire creatives to work hard and give back to the community." Christine Perrelli, AJ's mother and co-founder, The AJ Project
- Rehearsals are underway for a fund raiser for organ donor awareness.
- In 2014 the AJ Project was formed to honor AJ Perrelli who was an actor, dancer and singer.
- This dance is inspired by AJ’s heartbeat that that was recorded hour before his organ donation.
- The event will be held on Saturday April 6th from 1-5 pm at Terrace on the Park in Queens.
We ask you to join us
Saturday, April 6th from 1-5 pm at Terrace on the Park, 52-11 111th Street, Flushing Meadows Park, as we feature the world premiere of the dance piece Create from the HeArt as well as work from other talented performers. Share the love with us, and enjoy lunch, live music, auctions, raffles and door prizes.
Tickets and sponsorship information at www.4theajproject.org.
Suggested donation $70.00
Why organ donation?
* Because of AJ, people world wide registered for organ donation-
* When the Perrelli family heard the statistics on donation in our area they were appalled-
* Even though you may be registered you family can still refuse your wishes-
* Not everyone is able to donate organs but there are other options such as tissue, corneas and bone options-
In NY/HudsonValley/Long Island Area
Ranked 50th in the nation for organ donation
only 223 people donated organs
Over 10,000 people on the waiting list
Ranked 50th in the nation for organ donation
only 313 people donated organs
Over 10,000 people on the waiting list
*Statistics provided by Unos and LiveOnNY
Why The AJ Project? The simple answer is #4AJ.
When AJ passed away, a fund was set up to help with his burial costs. After all was done, there was $800 still in the account. AJ's mother promised that any remaining money would be put into a fund for the arts in honor of AJ. The AJ Project was born.
This project exists as an extension of its namesake: AJ Perrelli's love of creating and connecting those who create. AJ was a professional dancer, singer, actor and artist who left us too soon at 26. His final casting call was as an organ donor. Because of AJ's generosity both in life and after his death, people worldwide were inspired to pursue their passions for the the arts and sign up as organ donors.
We are an arts org.
We bring professional and emerging artist together to raise funds and awareness to important critical issues and causes.
We champion the importance of organ donor registration. Why? #4AJ
501(c)3 not for profit
Interview with Christine Perrelli 2018 CFH. https://youtu.be/6PLm8bGlISE
Pictures and Videos 2018 CFH. 2018 AJ Project Create From the Heart Recap
2017 Body Painting OD PSA. https://www.4theajproject.org/nyc_organ_donor_campaign
Permission is granted to use Youtube channel produced videos
Audio Visual Sponsor : LiveOnNY
Write your why and publish it here!
$6,620.00 raisedGOAL: $20,000.00
Purchase your ticket before March 31, 2019 and win a chance to win a Knicks box seat package valued at $1500.00
For each ticket purchased you will be placed in a drawing for 2 Lexus Level BOX SEAT tickets to the New York Knicks vs. Detroit Pistons game on April 10, 2019 at Madison Square Garden. This amazing raffle includes a $20 complimentary credit for food, beverage or merchandise. (tickets can not be sold for personal gain). If you do not wish to participate you can opt to place your ticket in another raffle. You can buy additional raffles on our website @$70.00 per raffle.
As an attendee you can purchase additional chances at the 3rd annual friend raiser event for $10 onsite.
Drawing will take place at the event on April 6th, 2019.
Thank you for your purchase.
Payment is accepted by Pay Pal and can be paid through your standard credit/debit card.
$70.00 Buys 1 ticket - So happy you are coming!!!! Find a seat and enjoy!
$100.00 Buy a ticket give a little more. Thanks for coming and Thanks again for your support!
$150.00 Buy a ticket - Donate a ticket to a starving artist. Do this because you really want to feed an actor or musician cause we all know they could use a good meal.
Reserve a table:
$700.00 Reserves a Table - You get 10 tickets- You collect the money and sit with your friends and family and receive an additional free raffle ticket for making our work easier!!!!
Sponsor a Table or Bar or Event:
Bar: $300.00 - if we get 5 of these we can have an open bar and how cool would that be? You can then put your booze money up to buy more raffles!!!
Table: $1500.00 - For your generous gift you get 10 tickets, a reserved table, recognition as a sponsor on social media, website and at the event. (if purchased before March 31 you will have 4 chances for our Knicks vs. Pistons raffle to be held on April 6th. See details above)
Audio Visual/Music Sponsor:
$3000.00 - We wont need to yell across the room to get our point across if you sponsor our audio visual. This cost not only covers gear and rentals we could not get donated but also allows us to hire professional tech teams to set up and remove the equipment from the room and bring their excellent talent as techies to our event.
Event: $10,000 - Co-sponsor the Event with The AJ Project. As a partner you or your company will have signage on all social and event media. Host a table of 10 and make it possible for us to have an open bar!!!!!Donate
CLICK THE LINKS TO SEE VIDEOS- Scroll down for event photos
they are on a playlist for each event.
If you want to go directly to our youtube page click the link below
2017- F.A.M. CLUB Boys and Girls Club
ORGAN DONOR AWARENESS Videos
2016 and before events
AJ PERRELLI PERFORMANCES
The AJ Project published 1st Annual Friend Raiser photos and videos in Pics & Vids 2017-11-30 00:42:42 -0500
Thank you for your generous donation of a raffle/auction item for our 2nd annual AJ Project Friend Raiser. In order to feature your generous gift properly and guarantee you receive a receipt for you records please send an email to email@example.com along with a picture of the item if applicable.
Name of business or person making in kind donation
Description of the item donated
Value of the item
If there is a special story attached to the donation i.e., hand made, inspired by, one of a kind etc. please include
If you have any questions feel free to call Christine at 407-630-9801
November 30, 2017
The AJ Project cultivates opportunities for emerging and professional creative artists to connect, create and give back to the community. Currently we are teaching an after school film, arts, and media program (F.A.M Club) at the Boys and Girls Club in Queens NY, produce videos for other non profits and create organ donor awareness. Even though we are a volunteer based organization it takes money to make these programs a success.
On Saturday, January 27th, 2018 we will be hosting our 2nd Annual Friend Raiser themed Create From the Heart and would appreciate your support. Your tax deductible gift of sponsorship, raffle item or auction item will go a long way in helping us reach our goals.
Last years 1st annual Friend Raiser was a huge success. The afternoon was filled with old and new friends, live entertainment, professionally produced video productions, 2 amazing organ donor recipient guest speakers, great food and 24 raffle items. With only 24 days to plan and 121 guests in attendance we raised enough money to launch the FAM Club and sustain our monthly bills for one year.
With the success of our 2017 and more time to plan we have set some pretty lofty goals for 2018. With your help, we hope to reach our goals of 300 guests, enough money to cover our operating cost for a year (we are very frugal) buy a few pieces of gear for the FAM Club, a laptop computer, expand our after school program to the summer, start a weekend program open to kids 15 - 18 and hire a small paid staff. It seems like a lot to ask but since our birth in 2014 we have never been shy in setting goals and have achieved most of them. We planned our growth to be slow and steady. This was to assure we set down the correct roots for sustainability and maintain our mission and vision for the future.
Our inspiration comes from the determination and fearlessness of our name sake AJ Perrelli. AJ was a professional dancer, singer, actor and stage performer who passed away at the young age of 26. His final casting was as an organ donor. Because of AJ both in life and after his death people world wide were inspired to pursue their passions for the the arts and also sign up as organ donors.
The AJ Project is very thankful to the scores of AJ’s friends, family and colleagues who have supported us these past few years. We are thrilled with the prospect of continuing to widen our reach and share his story in an effort to inspire others to create from the heart. Every little bit helps and every little bit is one more young person we can teach, one more emerging artist we can support and one more opportunity for The AJ Project to make a positive contribution to our community.
From our heart to yours we look forward to adding your name and your energy to our cast of supporters.Warmly and with XOXO, (AJ always closed an email with this)Christine Perrelli, Founder, Executive DirectorChristina Neubrand, Founder, Program DirectorThe AJ Project501(c)3 non profitSocial Media @4theajprojectemail: firstname.lastname@example.org
VIP Partner: $5000
Co-sponsor of the Event, logo or name listed on all event materials including step and repeat, print and social media materials, highlight story on AJP blog and social media, logo featured on website, social media and print materials for one year, opportunity for sponsor to speak at the event, meet and greet and photo ops with talent, 2 reserved tables with 4 bottles of wine on each. 20 VIP tickets to the event.
Video Production Sponsor: $4000.00
Producer Credit on our Organ Donor Campaign Video, Logo listed on all event materials including step and repeat, print and social media materials, highlight story on AJP blog and social media, logo featured on website, social media and print materials for one year, opportunity for sponsor to speak at the event, meet and greet and photo ops with talent. Reserved tables with 2 bottles of wine on each. 8 VIP tickets to the event.
Gold Sponsor $3000
Logo listed on all event materials including step and repeat, social media recognition, logo featured on website and event pages, meet and greet and photo op with talent. Reserved table with 4 bottles of wine. 10 VIP tickets to the event.
Audio Visual Sponsor $2000.00 or Gear (equivalent in kind donations of services and/or gear accepted)
Logo or name listed on all event materials including step and repeat, print and social media materials, highlight story on AJP blog and social media, logo featured on website, social media and print materials for one year, opportunity for sponsor to speak at the event, meet and greet and photo ops with talent. Reserved tables with 2 bottles of wine on each. 8 VIP tickets to the event.
Sponser a Table $1500
Logo or Name listed on all event materials, logo featured on website and event pages, meet and greet and photo op with talent. Reserved table with 2 bottles of wine. 8 VIP tickets to the event and donate 2 to our volunteer staff.
Volunteer Sponsor $300.00
Buys four meals for our volunteer staff. Logo or Name listed on all event materials, logo featured on website and event pages,
Bartender Fee Sponsor $ 250.00
We are charged a fee outside of the per person cost and would love to have that covered. Your name/logo will be placed on the bar and on all event materials.
Raffle and Auction Items: Please click on the Raffle/Auction link for more information.
The AJ Project published The AJ Project Fiscally Sponsors LIC Reading Series - Receives QCA Grant in Arts Voice Box 2017-02-07 17:25:42 -0500
AJ Project receives a grant to produce Organ Donor Awareness video geared toward teens
Posted by Christine Perrelli · November 25, 2018 9:04 PM
The AJ Project Fiscally Sponsors LIC Reading Series - Receives QCA GrantSee all posts
Posted by The AJ Project · February 07, 2017 5:25 PM · 1 reaction
The AJ Project published Burlesque Show comes to Astoria in Speakeasy Burlesque - Divas night 2016-09-17 02:09:26 -0400
by Christine Perrelli
performers and production contact Christine@4theajproject.org
The iconic Astor Room located in the Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens NY is making a name for itself as a premiere hotspot showcasing amazing singers, musicians and the occasional magician. Now you can add a monthly Burlesque Show to the mix. Starting Thursday, September 29th the Speakeasy Burlesque NY will debut in the new event space called Studio A. The evening will benefit a non profit for the arts called The AJ Project.
Produced by Director/Choreographer Steven Cardona in partnership with The AJ Project a 501(c)3 non profit for the arts, the themed shows plan on engaging the audience's through texting and emailing a secret password for entrance, drink specials and to receive the theme for the next months show. Guest are not required to dress the theme but if they want to play the part that is encouraged.
Montserrat L'umiere guest performs at The Astor Room on Thursday September 29, 2016
Photo credit: Giovanni Gellona
For their first show "Diva's" a variety of performers will take the stage. Steven's co-host this month will be comedian Liz Magee who performs stand-up all over New York City. The line up includes Loreto Astroza performing as Montserrat L'umiere who's credits as a dancer span both Chile and NYC. This gorgeous dancer has a background in Latin, Jazz and Salsa so expect a hot sexy performance. Featured dancers Milagros Simon as Lady Day and Kitty Perrelli offer a beautiful mix of performance and fun. To mix things up songstress Amy Rivard will perform and Joshua Warr as Stormy Weatherz brings a little Drag to the room.
The Speakeasy NY Burlesque NY will be at held the third Thursday of every month at The Astor Room located on 35th Ave and 35th Street in Astoria. Doors open 7pm/ $10 cover at the door.
The relationship with The AJ Project and The Astor Room began this past June when they co-hosted a Tony Awards Viewing Party. For 20 bucks (half going to the AJ Project!) guest watched the televised Tony Awards hosted by James Cordon on a big screen TV. They were entertained during commercial breaks by members of the AJ Project's tribe with song and comedy. Jarvis Green played the beautiful baby grand for singers Rachel Lauria, Haley Clair, Kitty Perrelli and Alexander Sage Owen. Co-hosted by Steven Cardona and Comedian Cate Wineberg, the audience was also given the chance to win prizes by answering trivia questions presented via video taken especially for the event from Broadway stars; Heather Parcells from Tuck Everlasting, Amanda LaMotte from Matilda The Musical, Jeff Blumenkrantz from Bright Star, Natalie Charle Ellis from School of Rock and Sam Rodgers from American in Paris. As part of the special evening guest were treated to a light menu & 1 free cocktail as well.
Because the night was such a success, viewing parties are on the schedule for Rocky Horror Live on October 20th and Hairspray Live on December 7th. Once again entertainment will be on the menu. Attendees will be encouraged to dress the part so make sure you sign up on the website to get more details.
In this world where live performers have fewer and fewer places to showcase their work, Manager Gjovalin "John" Nikci is a strong supporter of the arts. This is evident by the variety of opportuinities for entertainers to showcase their talents at The Astor Room. Besides the incredible food and signature drinks offered daily live jazz is on the menu at Sunday Brunch and also Friday and Saturday evenings. Tuesdays feature pop performers and Wednesday's Michael Mott & Friends presents a weekly cabaret style show where singers and the occasional magician come to the stage and perform anything from pop to broadway tunes.
You can check out the Astor Room calendar here.
It is with great pride, like that of a stage dad, that John boasts of the historic building that houses The Astor Room. Built in the 1920's this once commissary to the stars sits upstairs from the former Studio A music recording studio where greats like Billy Joel have recorded. With the recent renovation of Studio A to an event space, Nikci envisioned not only a great place to host meetings, weddings or Bar Mitzvahs, but had a specific vision of having a Burlesque Show. Once down the stairs through a non-descript hallway you enter a private venue that seats up to 100 has a full stage, lights and projection set up. It has a full bar and the ability to transform into any theme you can imagine. It is the perfect space for The Speakeasy Burlesque NY show.
The AJ Project is a 501(c)3 non profit organization for the arts located in Astoria Queens. Their mission is to create, cultivate and curate adults pursuing the arts as a career. The NPO was founded little over a year ago by Christine Perrelli, AJ's mother, to honor the memory of her son who was a dancer, actor and singer. He passed away in 2013 at age 26 from a head injury. Creating this monthly show is a win win for both The Astor Room and The AJ Project. The Astor Room is able to support a local non profit and host a spectacular evening filled with talent and The AJ Project can has a venue to cultivate the arts community. AJ used to say that "Adulting" as an artist is hard. It is the job of The AJ Project to find ways to make it easier. All of the $10 donation for the Diva Show will go to The AJ Project and their mission. If you would like to offer your creative services to future works of The AJ Project you can go to their website and join at www.4theajproject.org or email Christine@4theajproject.org. For performance info on the Burlesque shows contact SpeakeasyburlesqueNY@gmail.com.Read more
70th Tony Awards Viewing Party to Benefit The AJ Project-June 12thSee all posts
Posted by The AJ Project · May 27, 2016 2:26 PM · 9 reactions
written by his mother, Christine Perrelli
August 5, 1987—October 16, 2013
There is a saying, "Live every day like it's your last." Some people just get it, they figure out how to get the most out of life and use every one of the 1,440 minutes in a day.
It is often the people who touch our lives for the shortest time that are the hardest to forget. AJ's 26 years of life were full of many adventures, many friends and many laughs and in 2013 he tragically passed away from a head injury.
In his life journey AJ's story spanned over 40 countries, touched thousands of people and represented his innate ability to promote human connection. When word got out that AJ was in the hospital in critical condition his Facebook page exploded. Family, friends, friends of friends and complete strangers became glued to social media looking for updates. Over 800 pages of post where made as the world followed his journey. Admiration was shared on his passion for life, appreciation of his talents and love of his family and friends. People followed, they shared stores, and they prayed for a miracle. That miracle never manifested.
And even after he was gone the posts continued:
"AJ did more in his 26 years than many of us do in a lifetime". "He traveled, worked hard and played hard". "He was the "glue" who kept his friends together and the kind of guy who would go out of his way to see you if you where in town even if it was for 5 minutes". "He was "that" guy, the one you could call to talk, bitch or go on an adventure with". "He would do anything for you and did not expect anything in return". "I don't know him but wish I did. This kid lived life to the fullest!" "I met him once and he was someone I will never forget" "The world lost someone really special today, a rare breed, someone who understood human interaction".
Family was a priority for AJ. His parents, siblings and grandparents were his world. He tried to be a second father to his brothers, Michael and Nick, as well as a role model and protector to his sister, Kitty. It was important for him to share his knowledge of life in an attempt to protect them from some of the heartaches and difficulties he experienced. He was the favorite cousin, the favorite uncle and even the favorite grandson. AJ always stayed in touch calling regularly to share his latest adventure. You just couldn't wait to hear his voice!
He was a first time father to be. Only two weeks before his accident he informed his family that he and his girlfriend, Teresa were expecting a child. His little boy, Luca was born on Cinco De mayo…a very appropriate homage to his Daddy who always loved a reason to party.
He took his career plan very seriously and always involved himself in something or with someone to make his work as an actor and dancer improve. In working to perfect his craft AJ researched opportunities, auditioned constantly, took classes and studied hard. AJ was passionate and determined and always thought of himself as a serious dramatic actor. Come to find out, his comedic timing was incredible. Credit: Psychodrama the web-series.
Work as a performer kept AJ on the road for over 2 years where he visited over 40 countries performing as Goofy and a principle dancer for the Disney Live Show and in 2012, AJ graduated from one of the top 25 Drama schools in the nation, The William Esper Studio.
AJ always found time to work with film students at NYU Tisch School for the Arts as an actor for their film study classes. He did this for several aspiring directors and helped give feedback to the production teams and student actors. Some of the work is quite good and some was really bad. When he did these however, he never outright knocked the bad. He always remembered that he had to start somewhere and was lucky enough to have the right people guiding him along on his journey.
Just before his passing AJ worked as a swing performer for the original Village People as the Cowboy. Yes, he was on stage singing the YMCA in costume alongside the Construction Worker, Cop, Indian, Biker and Army dude. AJ was particuarily proud of this opportunity because he grew up listening to this music with his father and the personal connection made the professional connection that much stronger. His time with them was less than a year and he performed 6 shows before his passing. He might have been a bit young for the group but they loved him and when the new Cowboy, Jim Newman, was cast they asked AJ to continue to perform as swing for not only the Cowboy, but the Construction Worker and Biker as well.
When actors become famous it is always fun to hear what other jobs they did to survive. AJ had no shortage of odd jobs that would have been a fun quip on a talk show someday. When he first returned back to NYC he landed a job at a pretty famous restaurant located across from Carnegie Hall. When he got the job he claimed it was the best audition for an acting job he ever did. In NY waiters are professionals and AJ was far from a professional. In fact he had never waited a table in his life. He went in there and basically acted his way into a job. He used to joke that he was the Charlie Chaplin of waiters and should have been fired after the first week.
His next part time job would be at Dave and Busters, in Times Square, where he would go up to tables and offer to take their picture and give them a key chain. Through his work at Dave & Busters, AJ met a designer, Raymond. AJ approached his table and did his spiel. Raymond looked down and asked if AJ was a size 9 shoe. He was and AJ became the very first shoe model for the brand new launch of a Tommy Bahamas shoe line.
AJ's final casting call was one he was not able to attend. After AJ's burial, when things were settling down, AJ's parents retrieved his email and phone messages. AJ was asked personally by the Emmy award winning choreographer Mia Michaels to audition for an upcoming Broadway show Finding Neverland. While we might be biased we think he would of nailed it! Neverland was in his top 10 favorite movies and Mia was his favorite choreographer.
AJ's final act was that of organ donor. His gifts of life included his heart, kidneys, pancreas, liver and corneas. Although his decision to be an organ donor did not transfer to his New York State license, he and his mother had a conversation regarding his wishes when he was 18. Because of that and knowing how AJ's gifts could hopefully keep another family from going through the pain of loss 5 families lives where changed when on his sisters 21st birthday the donation surgery was performed.
If AJ were here today, and this terrible loss happened to one of his family or friends, we know that AJ would have been the first one at the hospital, the first to gather the troupes to support the family and the first one to say YES!; I will do anything it takes to be a part of something to remember them by.
In his spirit we ask that you become a part of The AJ Project Family and continue the Ripple Effect that AJ started. Like our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter, sign up on the website, participate in an event, create an event, your help is greatly appreciated no matter how big or small. #4AJ - You can join our family here
Share your connection and passion and crowdfund for The AJ Project!
Through your personal profile on The AJ Project website you can set up a personal crowdfunding page! You can tell the world why you support The AJ Project and ask them to be a supporter too!
Below are Ten easy steps for setup on your computer or your phone.
Your personal crowdfunding page will have your own personal URL that you can share!
- let you know how close you are to meeting your goal
- let you know who participated because of you
- give you the ability to share on all social media and send a link to your email list
How cool is that! Now lets get you going! To make it easy you can download PDF instructions here.
What your finished page would look like
Step 1. Sign in onto www.4theajproject.org website through any of the following: Twitter, Facebook or email
On the computer it is located to the right next to your profile picture
On your your phone - scroll down below the social media icons to your profile picture
Step 2. Update your account settings and leave the Publish my profile on website unchecked.
Step 3. Short bio- this section will show up when you share. If you log in from twitter or Facebook it will bring the information over from there. It can be edited in this profile section.
Step 4. Website URL- Your user name is the name that will show up on your profile. This can be edited. Make sure to look at your website and put a name that is recognizable to your friends so they know it is from you!
Step 5. Profile Image- this image will be taken from whatever social media account you signed in with. If you sign in with email you can upload a picture. The social media image captured will stay even if you change you profile picture after the fact. You can edit this picture but the size requirements are wonky so be patient. the picture need to be 250 x 250 pixels as a .jpg,.png or .jif file and not below 100 x100 pixels. If you want to resize your own picture you can go to the website Picresize and save it to your computer or phone and then upload it. If you have continued trouble contact Christine@4theajproject.org.
Step 6. Headline for your profile- this is the area where you are asking your friends to help out. It's the ASK so ask them to do what you want them to do. Donate Like me!
Step 7. Why do you support The AJ Project- in this section make it personal. Share your Why story and connection to your friends.
examples: "i am a struggling artist and ..., I knew AJ and..., I support the arts and...., I never knew AJ but his story speaks for in so many ways and I....
Step 8. Set your fundraising goal. When you commit to a fundraising goal on your account settings page, a progress bar was added to your profile. The contribute button includes your recruiter link, ensuring donations made by your friends are credited towards your fundraising goal.5. Check the box- allow search engines to find your profile- this is the link that will be published on the web.
Step 9. Check the box- include in leaderboards- will let you know who donated and shared your link.
Step 10. Share your fundraising link and invite your friends to contribute and to also share the link. Dont forget to hashtag #charity #4AJ and tag @4thajproject on all social media.
The AJ Project
AJ was my son. When he died a part of me died. I started this non profit to remember him and to be like him and make a difference in peoples lives. #4AJ @4theajproject
We are an arts org. We bring professional and emerging artist together to raise funds and awareness to important critical issues and causes. We champion the importance of organ donor registration. Why? #4AJ