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If you live in the New York area and haven’t heard about Start It Up! The Youth Initiative and their upcoming benefit concert, you better get familiar! This organization is dedicated to “bringing awareness to issues that affect the local community and promoting positive action while incorporating the arts”. Currently, they are getting ready to host the 2nd annual Start It Up! Bone Marrow Drive & Benefit Concert in New York City and are looking for your support!

This event was started in memory of Shannon Tavarez who was best known for her role as Young Nala in the Broadway production of “The Lion King”. Shannon was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in April 2010. Unable to find a bone marrow donor with her blood type, she passed in November 2010, leaving behind a legacy of exceptional talent, a spunky personality and a heart full of dreams.

The 2nd Annual Start It Up! Bone Marrow Drive & Benefit Concert is celebrating the life and legacy of the beautiful Shannon Tavarez on Sunday January 29, 2012 from 1:00-7:00PM at the Harlem School of the Arts located at 645 St. Nicholas Avenue, New York, NY 10030.

This year, the organization is partnering with Shannon’s S.H.A.R.E as well as DKMS, which is the world’s largest bone marrow donor center. Both DKMS and S.H.A.R.E have missions to assist people dealing with these types of deadly diseases. A portion of the proceeds earned from this bone marrow drive and benefit concert will benefit DKMS and Shannon’s S.H.A.R.E. Foundation. Admission: a child’s toy or $5. Toys to be donated to the Long Island Jewish Hospital.

If you or anyone you know is interested in participating and could possibly provide sponsorship, please feel free to contact Start It Up via email: