People Doing Amazing Things

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We are making history as we are living it, and the last few weeks and months have created an onslaught of deep disturbance and concern for us all.

From pandemic, to isolation, to fear of illness, to loss, to financial ruin, we now have witnessed a tragedy that took place in front of us, bringing the deep seated systemic issues of race that we, as a society face, boldly into the light.

It has been a horrific time as we saw a murder take place in front of our eyes by someone who is supposed to help and protect members of the community instead of extinguish a life. Then, out of important peaceful protests, the ugliness of humanity emerged, as crimes, violence, looting and destruction took place.

It is indeed a dark time, but we have to believe that there will be better days ahead.

And my contribution to that goal is to highlight individuals who actively respond to crucial needs in society.

People Doing Amazing Things

With that, I want to introduce you to the founder and executive director of Foundation of Freedom, a service organization geared toward providing initiatives for the African American community. Earl Thomason, Jr. left a great job to build this organization from the ground up.  Since the pandemic began, Earl and his team have been providing meals for essential workers in under-served neighborhoods, and most recently, organizing peaceful protests in reaction to the murder of George Floyd. Please find out about his worthwhile organization at

People Doing Amazing Things

Prolific Broadway actress Mandy Gonzalez, who was starring in Hamilton prior to the shutdown, is now involved with a five-part series, “Broadway’s Best for Breast Cancer.”  Produced by the JCC in Manhattan, Mandy and JCC senior director of health and wellness Caroline Kohles are joined by a medical expert ,and talk to Broadway stars about health challenges and their careers. Go to

Cancer Care | Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan A partnership of Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan and Breastlink New York, this innovative program is designed to share the latest in health and wellness programs, while also bringing complementary care to those living with breast cancer.Based on scientific findings about the importance of a plant-based diet and regular exercise for healing, our robust program includes a range of classes …
People Doing Amazing Things

International opera star Monica Yunus, who is co-founder of Sing for Hope, an organization that provides public music and arts programs, has launched “Sing for Hope Grams.” You can purchase a singing telegram sung by a Broadway or opera star to gift to a loved one. The fee goes to support artists who are out of work due to the closing of performance venues.

And there is a new platform matching businesses in need of marketing with freelancers who want to promote a business they support. It’s a brilliant idea and something any small business should explore. A win-win for all involved. Go to

For conversations with these people who are doing amazing things, listen to “Bagels and Broadway with Valerie Smaldone” Saturday morning from 9:05-10 on WNYM Radio.

Also available online, Alexa and podcast.

Bagels and Broadway with Valerie Smaldone Podcast – Bagels and Broadway with Valerie Smaldone – “Bagels and Broadway with Valerie Smaldone” features conversations with Broadway celebrities, creative teams, producers who work passionately to bring shows to the stage, and the numerous un-sung heroes who are integral to mounting a production. Since dining out and attending the theatre go hand-in-hand, restaurant and food segments are featured as well. A native New Yorker who was born, raised, educated and spent her entire career in New York, Valerie Smaldone knows the New York area. You’ll hear Valerie discussing the show she attended last night on or off- Broadway, or where she had tapas, antipasto or mezze with a glass of phenomenal wine (from a country you didn’t even know produced wine!) Valerie also concentrates on other theatrical venues: including in New Jersey, off-Broadway or non-traditional theatre spaces. So, you bring the bagels, she’ll bring Broadway…Saturday mornings at 9.


  • Valerie Smaldone

    Valerie Smaldone is a 5-time Billboard Magazine Award winner and is well known for her unprecedented success holding the #1 on-air position in the New York radio market on 106.7 Life-FM, an iHeart station. She has hosted, produced, and created several award-winning nationally syndicated programs featuring in-depth interviews with stars like Paul McCartney, Celine Dion, Rod Stewart, Elton John and Mariah Carey among others. Her radio talk show "Bagels and Broadway" highlighted theatre and food personalities. She is an accomplished interviewer and voice artist heard on commercials, narrations, promos and audiobooks, as well as a sought after live announcer. Most recently, Valerie produced and directed a film, The Thursday Night Club, featuring pop diva Gloria Gaynor in her movie acting debut. She is one of the creators and producers of a docu-series, Divine Renovation, starring Erik Estrada, on streaming networks soon.

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