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Jon Tisch and Y chairman Fredric Mack
Jon Tisch and Y chairman Fredric Mack

Caryn and Jeff Zucker
Caryn and Jeff Zucker
Jill and Darius Bikoff
Jill and Darius Bikoff
Y president Thomas Kaplan (from left), Jill and Darius Bikoff, and Caryn and Jeff Zucker at 92nd Street Y benefit concert with Barry Manilow
Y president Thomas Kaplan (from left), Jill and Darius Bikoff, and Caryn and Jeff Zucker at
92nd Street Y benefit concert with Barry Manilow
Manilow Returns To His Roots
And Embraces His Fanilows

shouted, "Hello, New York! Its good to be home."

The 600 guests at the 92nd Street Y spring gala went nuts as they cheered, hollered and wriggled in their seats through a throbbing Las Vegas production of classic Manilow hits.

The singing star said that although hes originally from Brooklyn, this was the first time he performed at the venerable 92nd Street Y. But he remembers coming here for the Lyrics and Lyricists program.

His Russian immigrant grandfather was the only one in the family who recognized little Barrys musical talent.

"My grandpa would walk me across the bridge to a store where youd make those scratchy voice recordings. Hed put a quarter in the machine and plead with me to sing Happy Birthday. I was too intimidated to open my mouth."

When Manilow sang in Carnegie Hall, there was Grandpa jumping up from his seat and clapping hands. Everyone got up and joined in a standing ovation. The audience settled down, but Grandpa kept standing, kvelling.

"I made it, Grandpa!" Manilow shouted.

Y president Thomas Kaplan was so exuberant with the success of the benefit that he announced, "Tonight we raised $2.7 billion!" You know he meant "m," not "b."

The gala co-chairs were NBC Universal president Jeff Zucker and wife Caryn, Observatory Inc. founder Darius Bikoff and wife Jill, and Loews Hotels chairman/CEO Jon Tisch and wife Lizzie.

Lizzie revealed, "We went to see Barry Manilow on the first night of our honeymoon."

Jon explained, "We are fanilows." (Read: fans of Manilow.)

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