The parents of John H. Mark, an army veteran from Woodside who passed away unexpectedly last year, are holding a fundraiser to raise money for a scholarship in his name.
“Broadway Comes to Woodside” will feature seven Broadway performers who will sing and dance at Corpus Christi Church in Woodside on April 17. The proceeds from the benefit concert will go to the church and The Major John H. Mark, Jr, Manhattan College Scholarship Fund.
Major John H. Mark was a lifelong Woodside resident and an accomplished lawyer who served in Kuwait and Afghanistan, according to his mother Angela Mark. He attended Manhattan College and gradated from St. John’s University School of Law where he was student body president.
Mark held several positions with the U.S. Army starting in 2007, including deputy U.S. attorney at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, trial defense counsel in Kuwait and Afghanistan from 2012 to 2013 and knowledge management officer and operations attorney in the criminal law division at the Pentagon.
He was awarded more than 10 U.S. Army medals in addition to a gold German Armed Forces Badge. Mark was also an alter server at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and at Corpus Christi Church.
Mark passed away unexpectedly on Sept. 4, 2015, 10 days before his 37th birthday. He was visiting his parents when he died, his mother said.
“He was a go-getter as you can tell and he loved life,” Mark said. “He had an incredible sense of humor and had so many plans and has so many people that miss him that he was mentoring.”
Those performing include Mark’s friend Matthew LaBanca, who performed in Broadway’s “Young Frankenstein” and “White Christmas,” Allie Coutoure of the “Billy Elliot” national tour, Nathan Scherich from “Jersey Boys,” Jessica Tyler Wright from Broadway’s “Sweeney Todd” and more.
The Scholarship Fund, which was created in 2015, will be awarded to students studying abroad in the fall or spring semester and the funds should be used to pursue an approved extracurricular project in the form of community service, research or other experimental activity while abroad.
“He was such a wonderful son,” Mark said. “We’re trying to really make [the scholarship] grow.”
The show begins at 7:30 p.m. at Corpus Christi school auditorium, located at 31-29 60th St. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for children and seniors.