SIBS Place benefit concert helps children who need it most


It’s been a few years since SIBS Place, a nonprofit based in Rockville Centre, has been able to host a benefit concert, due to the coronavirus pandemic. But this weekend, that all changes, as the concert returns in full blast on April 21, at the Bellmore Playhouse.

SIBS Place, an affiliate of Mount Sinai South Nassau, has one mission: to provide support to children with traumatically ill siblings or parents. Founded in 2000, by a group of 10 families, SIBS Place Board President Lowell Frye said the organization has grown drastically and expanded tremendously to offer a wide breadth of services to the families that need it most. 

The nonprofit offers everything from therapy to bereavement services, for children ages 5 through 17, and their families. Joanna Formont, the executive director of SIBS Place, whose been involved with the organization since 2004, said she’s really seen it become a second family for the children and families it treats.

“It’s really a lifelong connection, because they feel understood,” she said. “When their friends at school are complaining about whatever their problems are, you know, they’ll say, ‘Well it’s not like my problems.’ No one really gets that, other than the other children coping with an illness.”

Frye is an amateur guitarist, who plays in local bands, and came up with the idea of a benefit concert, as a way to have another major fundraiser during the year. SIBS Place also has a gala and annual auction, that are large sources of funding.

This is the first time the benefit concert will take place at the Bellmore Playhouse, which has recently been completely renovated and customized specifically for concerts. 

“I think it’s exciting, that you know, we started doing (the benefit concerts) kind of wherever we could,” Formont said. “And now we have this beautiful venue, the Bellmore Playhouse, so it’ll really be like a concert-type atmosphere.

“It’s always good to raise awareness about the program and try to, you know, find a new audience and let people know about our services because they’re free to families coping with an illness or loss,” she went on. “Because we are a small not-for-profit, wherever we can raise funds is vital, especially post-Covid. We’re excited to be back live and in-person for this.”

Despite being an affiliate of Mount Sinai, the services are open to any child or family, no matter where their relative is being treated. Therapy and counseling can take place virtually now too, making it easy for therapists to connect with families near and far. 

Tickets for the benefit concert are $50, and it includes food and two performances. The first act will be the band, Trainwreck, which Frye plays in, followed by another local band, Live Vinyl. The show runs from 7 to 10 p.m., and tickets can be purchased at or by calling (516) 374-3000. 

The Bellmore Playhouse is located at 525 Bedford Ave., Bellmore. 

Lowell said while one goal of the concert is to raise money, SIBS Place is also really trying to raise awareness for the services offered. 

“When families are going through a tough time with sick children or parents, there’s people there to help them,” he said. “There are services like this that are available. People don’t always know where to look, so we want to build awareness.”

“We’re just super excited to do this event,” Formont added. “We have one major gala each year, but we’re really supportive to all these little specific fundraisers. The fact that our board president is out there supporting this and advocating for it is great, and we just hope people join us.”