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Last Updated 3/10/2009

As the crowd gathered in the auditorium and as the music of the Manny Harmon Orchestra played the tunes of New York City, the auditorium grew silent as the crowd knew it would be treated to another spellbinding opening of America the Beautiful by Robbie Britt.

In what was described by the New York Times as "The show, an only-in-California cross between a Broadway musical, stand-up comedy routine and unruly politic convention." The compliment of talent was carefully guided by our masters of ceremonies, Stanley Ralph Ross and Johnny Francis.
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Among those paying tribute to Hal were his buddies Barbara McNair, who starred with Hal in Pajama Game. Everyone was enthralled as she sang Hey There. In another nostalgic moment, Ed Ames wowed the audience with his legendary Try to Remember and My Cup Runneth Over.

Garry Marshall weighed in by recalling the words of famous poets and people of literature along the parables that he learned from his pals growing up on the streets of the Bronx. Comedian Jackie Gayle, who worked with Hal on many occasions provided his special brand of comic relief while Brooklyn’s official Court Jester Barry, showed his versatility by keeping the audience in stitches despite his umpteenth appearance on our stage.
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Arte Butler’s brilliant rendition of one of his songs from his riotously funny one man show, The Last Supper, caused a ripple of understanding amongst us all. Impressionist Bob Anderson, currently performing regularly at the New York New York Hotel in Las Vegas caused a major stir with his impressions of Sammy Davis, Dean Martin, Tom Jones and Frank Sinatra.. personal loan lenders.

Our unique vocal group, The 5 Boros, led by choral director Reparatta Mazzola, lyricist Charlie Schlotter, along with arranger Ben Lanzarone and vocalists Ilene Graf, Barbara Minkus, Robert Gossett and Shelly Goldstein sang a special tribute in honor of Hal.
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The All-City Ensemble Chorus consisting of Patty Andrews Mr. Blackwell, Virginia Capers, Charles Durning, Herb Eden, Betty Garrett, Hank Garrett, Stan Irwin, Marvin Kaplan, Aliza Kashi, Bernie Kopell, Marry Kove, Ed Lauter, Thelma Lee, Len Lesser, Steven Macht, Rose Marie, Bruce Malmuth, Barbara McNair, Stanley Ralph Ross, Max Salter, Sammy Shore, Freddy Stewart, Joe Viterelli, and Bea Wain created a feeling of enthusiasm that swelled throughout the auditorium.

As a special tribute to Hal, Bronx Borough President, Fernando Ferrer along with Lawrence Strickler a representative from Baruch College jointly presented Hal with the diploma he earned 45 years ago, but never received. Hal’s 95-year-old mother, his wife, his four children and his grandson were all in attendance to experience this momentous event.

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When introduced as the honoree, Hal responded by "doing his own show", as he sang and then played his clarinet for almost 45 minutes. After astounding the audience with the famed Benny Goodman “Challenge,” featuring him and Lafayette drummer Steve Dweck Hal turned to his mother and exclaimed that if had only kept practicing, he could have been a good musician... And, if so – he could be making a couple of hundred dollars a week now. The audience roared! direct loan lenders for bad credit

U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (Midwood H.S.) came to honor one of baseball’s greatest pitchers, not for his expliots oits oits on the playing field, but for having been a passionate leader in the integration of American sports and for his leadership in creating alcohol and drug assistance programs for major league baseball. Barbara, together with Don’s son, presented our first Melting Pot award thanking Don for living his life as a mench.

As the crowd exited, the words "wonderful evening" were repeated by most
everyone, particularly by our gracious honoree and his family.

We thank producers Johnny Francis and Buddy Arnold, technical directors Jon Alexander, Ed Schachter, Ken Palius, Michael Siegman, along with house manager, Arlene Schachter, Sol Levine, Superintendent of Schools, and the entire stage crew at Beverly High for making the evening such a tremendous success.

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