Floor and luxury-suite tickets to Billy Joel's sold-out Dec. 19 Madison Square Garden concert, and to a preshow party at a Manhattan penthouse, are among the items up for auction by Long Island Cares to benefit its Harry Chapin Food Bank. Late singer-songwriter Chapin founded the organization in 1980.
The Hauppauge-based nonprofit group, which provides food to people impacted by hunger and food insecurity, is offering two sets of paired floor-seat Garden tickets "from Billy's personal collection" that "will be either floor or level 100." Additionally up for auction at licares.org/events/billy-joel-concert/ are four sets of individual tickets and six sets of paired tickets to the arena's Bank of America luxury Lexus Level suite, including "snacks, beer & wine."
All tickets include admission to a preshow party on the 41st floor terrace of the Manhattan penthouse apartment of Long Island-raised restaurateur Michael Bohlsen. A Long Island Cares board member, Bohlsen and his brother Kurt own and operate the H2O Seafood Grills in East Islip and Smithtown and Prime in Huntington, among other operations of their Bohlsen Restaurant Group. The party begins at 4:30 p.m. and includes transportation to the 8 p.m. concert.
Also available is an individual ticket to the preshow party only.
"Billy has donated tickets to his Madison Square Garden residency for us to auction, and his appearance in one of our recent television commercials resulted in a significant increase in contributions,” Long Island Cares CEO Paule Pachter told Newsday. "He continues to reach out to us about how he and his family can support our work. During the early years of his career Billy toured with Harry Chapin, and he recalls admiring Harry’s passion to solve hunger and food insecurity. Billy often states that Harry was a driving force behind his own philanthropy, and we couldn’t be prouder to consider Alexis and Billy Joel not only generous donors but cherished friends of Long Island Cares.”
The auction, which began in mid-November and continues through Dec. 12 at 11:45 p.m., additionally features numerous custom-framed drumheads autographed by stars including comedian and Valley Stream native Jim Breuer, Bethpage singer and "America's Got Talent" finalist Sal Valentinetti, and local rockers Taking Back Sunday as well as by Kathy Griffin, Gladys Knight, Tony Bennett, Edgar Winter and others.
The December concert is Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Joel's 86th in his unprecedented Madison Square Garden residency, and his 132nd at the Garden overall. The Hicksville-raised star, who has homes in Sag Harbor and Centre Island, has earned five Grammy Awards plus a Grammy Legend Award and numerous other accolades. He began his Garden residency on Jan. 27, 2014.