Our new favorite holiday tradition is to spend a karaoke-filled December night with the Chung family and friends. Monday, December 7 marked the second annual Open Mic Karaoke Fundraiser, with proceeds from this year’s event benefiting Chung Changing Lives and the United Way. The new venue, Splitsville Luxury Lanes and Howl at the Moon (a dueling piano bar chain), provided a more intimate experience than the prior year, which I thought was great because I got to stand right next to the stage most of the night!
What I love about this event is that it’s really a family affair for the Chungs. From bringing up their son on-stage to sing the first song of the night to other family members walking around making sure everyone was having a great time, it’s clear that this event is close to their heart.
In addition to event sponsorships and individual ticket sales, a silent auction and live auction helped to raise funds. Attendees who brought coats for the United Way coat drive (myself included!) got to skip ahead in the line at the door.
Similar to last year, Santa made an appearance and after a belting out a Christmas carol, made everyone’s night with his rendition of Snoop Dogg’s classic “Gin and Juice.” Pats TE Scott Chandler was one of the first players to brave the stage, singing a memorable rendition of Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood.” Although he was thrown off by the Kendrick Lamar rap (“This is not the version on the album!”), he definitely got an A for effort!
The event was hosted by Jermaine “Wiggy” Wiggins, a Boston native who played for the Patriots from 2000-2002 and is now the voice of my morning drive as one of the DJs of Hot 96.9’s Get Up Crew. Wiggy brought a fan up onstage to help him sing “Hello” – the Lionel Richie version, and not the Adele version (although Adele’s hit would make a memorable appearance later in the night).
As you can see in the picture above, several players spent their fair share of time on-stage, including former Patriot Marquice Cole (taking the selfie), Brandon LaFell, Devin McCourty, and Brandon Bolden. Things really started picking up when this group did The Notorious B.I.G’s (a.k.a Biggie, Biggie Smalls, y’all know who I’m talking about) “Juicy.”
Devin McCourty was probably the most energetic of the night. After he sang Usher and Alicia Keys’ “My Boo” with his fiance Michelle, as seen below, he succeeded in pulling many of the other players on stage.
Comedian Lenny Clarke, seen below, ran the live auction. Attendees bid for playoff tickets, Pat Chung’s signed replica of the Lombardi trophy, and a chance to play FIFA (the video game) with Pat Chung and Julian Edelman.
Also seen below on the right is Brandon “Jojo” LaFell and his wife, Kristin. I have to give props to the LaFells because they have been involved in a lot of charity events since they arrived in New England. (In fact, LaFell made an appearance at the Patriots Children’s Christmas party held the following night.) I would also put the Chandlers (Scott and his wife Alissa) in the category of 2015 charity event superstars, as they attended the Joe Andruzzi Foundation Gratitude Gala, among other events this year.
Other players who made an appearance included Julian Edelman, Gronk, Duron Harmon, Stephen Gostkowski, Nate Ebner, Logan Ryan, Cameron Fleming, Tavon Wilson, and Ryan Allen. Towards the end of the night, attendees did have opportunities to take pictures with the players. (Don’t ask me why I didn’t. Apparently, I wasn’t on my game that night. I wish I had gotten at least one. Not gonna lie, my eyebrow game was on fleek.)
One thing that I really liked about this year was that for certain songs the players pulled up people in the audience. As you can see below, a bunch of ladies took them up on the chance to belt out Adele’s “Hello.” Always the entertainer, Devin McCourty hopped behind the piano on the stage and dramatically pretended to accompany the ladies.
To the Chung family and all of the event organizers – thanks again for a great night! Sooo…is it too early to start counting down for next year?