Tonawanda News — He decided to move to Los Angeles, where for 12 years he was successful working in movies and television shows and as a singer. After returning to Western New York, he turned his talent to acting. Among other shows, he stars as Bob Cratchit in the Alleyway Theatre’s annual “Christmas Carol” production.
In the meantime, Phil Hudson later joined his brother in California and worked for three and a half years in movies, until returning home to Western New York and continuing in the music field, later joining the E.L.I. band.
In addition to Phil Hudson, members of E.L.I. who will perform at O’Hara are Mark Valentino from Hit-n-Run; Tom Gariano, A-List; Rick Ryan, Weekend; Tony Dalfonso, Party of Nine, and Paul Bataglia.
Bill Tepas, president of the Cardinal O’Hara Alumni Association and the prime mover behind the concert, said that this is the third year that the alumni association has promoted concerts with the sole purpose of rehabilitating the auditorium at the school.
“It’s a three-phase project that will cost about $85,000 to complete,” Tepas said. “These concerts have already raised $50,000.”
The first phase was rehabilitating the stage, adding air conditioning and 94 new seats. The second phase was repainting, replacing carpeting throughout and refurbishing 428 seats.
The last phase is the lighting and sound.
“The auditorium has seen a lot of use in more than 50 years,” Tepas added.
The presentation of the Fine Arts Lifetime Achievement award was a surprise to the Hudsons.
“It feels great to receive this award,” Jerry Hudson said. “It’s a great idea to actively promote the arts. I’m glad O’Hara’s music and art programs are coming back.”
“I was shocked and surprised to learn about the award,” Phil Hudson said. “It’s a privilege — special — gives me such a warm feeling.”
The show will be held at 8 p.m. Feb. 28 at the school, 39 O’Hara Road, Tonawanda. Tickets are $15 and some are still available.
For tickets, call 695-2600, ext. 312.