Many of our staff, including founders Vincent Velasquez and Strato Doumanis, are alumni, and our team frequently works with the university to provide media and entertainment services for its sporting and student events.
What you may not know is that our go-to DJ for many of these events is also a Scarlet Knight himself. In 2014, Nathan "Nate Tunes" Hawley was a sophomore studying Information Technology and Informatics at the State University when he began working for Hurricane Productions as a student DJ.
Today, Nate is known across campus for spinning tunes at a variety of Rutgers Athletic events, including football games (he's the "Official DJ of Rutgers Football"), wrestling matches, and gymnastics meets.
But Nate isn't just a sports DJ – this talented young web developer and electronic musician also knows how to start a party. Raised on classic house vinyl, Nate has brought his multi-genre musical knowledge to many Rutgers Student Affairs events, as well as the annual Rutgers University Dance Marathon and Club Alex events. On the weekends, Nate frequently teams up with MC Robert Padovano to DJ many Hurricane Productions private events.
Learn more about DJ Nate Hawley and the rest of the Hurricane Productions team here.
From brand activations, tradeshows, and corporate functions of all sizes - Hurricane Productions is comprised of solution-oriented team leaders.
One of our most recent clients asked us to develop a 'show-opener' for an award show. A basketball arena hosted the show - so the effect not only had to 'wow' an audience of over 1,000 people, but it needed to be safe.
After meeting with the client and communicating with fire safety professionals, Nick Nittoli (Director of Operations) presented a special effect that checked all the boxes.
Sparkular - a safe, environmentally-friendly indoor fireworks system - was used under the control of Hurricane to light up the stage as the show's emcee welcomed the guests to the event. Hurricane programmed, synchronized, and safely controlled through Sparkular's fireworks simulator machines.
Unlike typical indoor fireworks, this non-pyrotechnic system is neither hazardous nor explosive. When the Sparkular machine is activated - a specialized powder safely combusts - providing a dazzling firework display.
As an added precaution, Sparkular machines come with an emergency stop tilt function. It automatically stops the fireworks program if the machine is tipped over or tilted more than 45 degrees.
Learn more about how we can develop creative solutions for your event by contacting us here.
The Club Alex concept began as a joke amongst students spending late hours at Alexander Library preparing for finals.
Rutgers partners with Hurricane annually to bing this clever anecdote to life as part of 'Senior Week' at the university.
On most college campuses, Senior Week is simultaneously the most exciting and the most stressful time of the year. Between completing final projects, studying for exams, and preparing to enter the "real world," graduating seniors have a lot on their plates. For many of them, balancing academic and career pursuits with a little bit of fun in their last weeks of school is the key to avoiding burnout.
Since 2014, Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, has given its graduating class a proper send-off.
With an exciting night of dancing, refreshments, and activities in a familiar setting, the university library is transformed into Club Alex.
According to a Rutgers blog post, students have had a longstanding tongue-in-cheek joke about Alexander Library being a nightclub, especially during finals.
"Sorry, I can't go out tonight," they'd say, "I'm spending the night at Club Alex."
Three years ago, the university brought Club Alex to life by turning the library's reference room into a fully-functional nightclub – and they've been doing it ever since.
Every event you're about to see in this post is a staple of the Hurricane Event Production portfolio.
Although we produce private events like Sweet 16s and Weddings, these larger-scale corporate events are important to the company and part of the fabric of New Jersey.
All of this content, event production as well as the videos themselves, were created by our in-house staff.
1. Audi Grand Opening – Corporate Event Production
From soup to nuts, everything you see in this video is provided in coordination with Hurricane Productions: Lighting, Audio, Projection, Production. We transformed this dealership to what you see in this video.
2. AARA Trade Show – Audiovisual and Video Support
Since 2012, Hurricane is an integral part of AARA's annual trade show hosted in Somerset, NJ and Edison, NJ on rotating years. We provide sound, lighting and coordinate the company's branding and social media efforts. Hurricane Productions has a secondary brand which acts as its Corporate AV Production arm called CANE AV. (caneav.com/)
Hurricane started within the DM organization a decade ago when the event was barely raising over $100,000 for Embrace Kids Foundation. In the last decade, the teams at Hurricane and Dance Marathon work in concert, year-round, to create the largest student-run philanthropic event in the state.
4. The Yard – Activation, Talent, and Event Calendar
When it comes to community events at The Yard, DEVCO hires MediaCutlet to consult on the who, what, when. But when it comes the how: Hurricane executes the events from the nuts and bolts end of things: Production, music, etc. It's the perfect marriage of how both brands exist under one roof. Hurricane helps fill the event calendar and produce events at The Yard.
5. Weddings and Private Events
Weddings and Sweet 16s give Hurricane the ability to connect with families and showcase their full scope of abilities. Private events also provide a safe training ground for interns and young photo, video, and DJ talent. Weddings and private events give Hurricane access to families and young influencers in the state, turning them into clients and onto our other services. Even Hurricane's path to producing the AARA Trade Show came by way of a Sweet 16 for the director's daughter.
Simply stated - if you hear music on campus, Nate is not too far away.
And Nate is as focused in his studies as he is 'in the mix.'
He plans to graduate with an Information Technology and Informatics degree. He is a teacher's assistant at a Coding Bootcamp - a Continuing Studies Program affiliated with RU.
"DJing at the stadium was my biggest 'DJ goal,' as an incoming student," Nate said about the 52,000 capacity stadium. "I walked into the stadium my first year and said, 'Wow, that's the biggest stage on campus."
He also helped open Rutgers newest landmark - The Yard @ College Avenue - with its first RFootball Away Game Watch Party.
As an homage to the art of DJing, Nate will use turntables (Technics 1200) as his tool to entertain the players, recruits and fans.
Corporations seeking a motivational and hi-tech space for an upcoming event should look no further than High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway, NJ. The home of the Scarlet Knights features a number of event spaces - including the Brown Recruiting Pavilion - that can accommodate a variety of corporate functions of all shapes and sizes.
The pavilion is accentuated by tall glass windows and an outdoor deck that overlooks the football field.
Hurricane Productions provides audio and visual solutions for the unique space as well as other locations around Rutgers University.
At a recent event hosted by Allstate, Hurricane helped the insurance leader integrate its own technology with existing technology operated by the University.
This list usually stands as our annual “Top 25 Live Events.” Although that feature is wildly popular amongst our private event clients, we felt like it was time to move away from that format.
Hurricane continues to evolve and the question always arises: What else does your company do?
This list is a true snapshot of who we are, what we do and where we are heading in 2015:
8. Vincent and Strato launched Hurricane Innovation LLC, offer social media consulting to small and mid-sized businesses.
Starting another business isn't just about creating a website or coming up with a name. We needed clients. We needed a vision. So with the help of some of our existing web clients, Rutgers University and the addition of Journal Multimedia, Caesars Entertainment, and The Olde Mill Inn, we evolved into a social media and video consulting firm.
And we have our former General Manager, Julia Crimi, to thank for making sure that Hurricane Productions operated at full strength while we jumped into our new endeavor.
7. We got more social (and accessible) to our clients with #HurricaneSocial
Every company should do this: Let your employees be themselves ... and share it on all forms of social media.
With the help of a company-wide hashtag, we implemented a way to aggregate all of this content from each popular social media platform and display it in real-time.
If you want a true snapshot of what we're doing, where we're going (as a company and individuals) please visit HurricaneProductions.com/social or just type #hurricanesocial into your favorite social media platform.
When RFootball fans enter High Point Solutions Stadium for Saturday's opener versus Howard, they'll be treated to new visual experiences throughout the game.
One of those enhancements is a same-day video edit produced by Hurricane Productions.
The 60-second RFootball videos will document the fanfare and pageantry of each Rutgers Football home game. From tailgates to pre-game traditions, each video will vary as the Big Ten atmosphere arrives 'on the Banks.'
"Our video product is cutting edge and engaging," said Hurricane Productions CEO Vincent Velasquez who is also a Rutgers College alumnus. "We're excited to partner with Rutgers Athletics in this capacity."
The Rutgers football video will be filmed during pre-game festivities and the first half of the game. It will be edited by half-time and displayed on the LED scoreboard in the second-half of each home game.
Hurricane is also slated to produce a "Legendary Moments" video segment sponsored by the Rutgers University Alumni Association. Those videos will be shown in the stadium and shared via social media. The "Legendary Moments" videos will compile archived video footage and graphics from landmark achievements in RFootball history.
Hurricane and Rutgers University have a longstanding relationship.
The company provides media support, entertainment, production and event consultation services throughout the year to various University departments.
For more information about Hurricane's work around campus, click here.
When you're planning a wedding, everything needs to be right. The venue, the food, the guests, the dress, the bridal party, the gifts, the theme... the list goes on. At a time when every same-sex wedding is considered a victory for equality, the pressure to do everything right is even higher.
Are you stressed out yet? Well, don't be. Your wedding will be perfect because you love your partner unconditionally. Everything else falls into place naturally; it'll be something you'll want to relive for the rest of your life!
The best way to relive your perfect day is with top-notch same-sex wedding photography provided by Hurricane Productions.
Amanda and Melissa are the happy couple you see in the pictures below. Hurricane photographers attended the couple's beautiful July 4th same-sex wedding at picturesque Rutgers Gardens and captured all the best moments. Rutgers Gardens is a prime location for any wedding. Only a short distance from the hustle and bustle of Rutgers’ New Brunswick campus, the Rutgers Gardens is a series of mesmerizing gardens that host wedding ceremonies and receptions between March and October.
To find out more information on Hurricane Productions’ wedding entertainment, photography and video services, submit this short form, or visit our pricing page.
If you've been to a Rutgers University event in the last decade, odds are that you've seen what Hurricane Productions brings to the table: quality, commitment, and fun.
A majority of the employees and clients of Hurricane Productions are Rutgers University alumni. They understand the needs of the staff and the desires of students when it comes to providing entertainment for special events.
From fundraisers and concerts, to Greek life and Athletic events; Hurricane Productions has a finger on the pulse of the Rutgers student body. Hurricane doesn't only provide talent and equipment for these events; they innovate. They will often create custom made graphics and unique features for almost every occasion, they treat each event with the utmost care and consideration.
The next time you're at a Rutgers event, make special note of the entertainment, photography and videography, and ambiance. You might just recognize some familiar faces!
Here are just a handful of events Rutgers has produced with the help of Hurricane Productions:
Hot Dog Day
This annual Rutgers tradition marks the middle of the spring semester. Students are invited to the Rutgers Student Center to enjoy free hot dogs and other treats, entertainment by Hurricane Productions and others, and all sorts of goodies and giveaways courtesy of the Rutgers University Planning Association (RUPA). Hurricane Productions has provided DJ entertainment for the wildly successful event since 2012.
#RB1GParty (Rutgers inducted into Big Ten)
In 2014, Rutgers celebrated its induction into the Big Ten conference with a monumental party held in High Point Solutions Stadium. Tons of Rutgers dignitaries and figures from the Rutgers community were present, including Athletic Director Julie Hermann and Football Coach Kyle Flood. Hurricane Productions was there to capture all the day's festivities.
Rutgers Alumni weekend is one of the busiest times of the year. Not only for RAA (Rutgers Alumni Association) and its affiliates, but for Hurricane Productions as well. They provide full-service entertainment for numerous events over the weekend, including the annual Alumni BBQ, Alumni Dinner at the Audi Club, and the Rutgers Senior Days Luau.
A tradition for both Hurricane Productions and Rutgers students and alumni alike; Rutgers Dance Marathon is the most involved event of the year. New Jersey's largest student-run philanthropic event, RUDM and Hurricane Productions have grown together. Each year brings more production, more students volunteering and raising money, and more awareness for all that Embrace Kids Foundation does. Since 1999, Rutgers Dance Marathon has raised over $4.2 million for Embrace Kids Foundation
One part of what makes Hurricane Productions' relationship with Rutgers so special is that they recruit within. Talent is recruited, often from Dance Marathon, to be a part of the Hurricane team. This allows young DJ's, emcees, photographers, and videographers the opportunity to work alongside professionals on common ground.
An idea of one of Hurricane's own DJ staff, ImposteRave was the first ever student life event to take place inside the Rutgers Football practice bubble. As part of the 2013 Senior Days series of events, students were talking about the successful event months after graduation.
Hurricane Productions and Rutgers Greek Life go hand-in-hand. Since Hurricane's inception in 2005, they have been a part of the great events the Greek community creates. From Sigma Chi's wildly successful Derby Days to the annual Greek awards; if there's a Greek life event at Rutgers, you can bet Hurricane is there behind the scenes.
And let's not forget Hurricane's specialty: Weddings
Hurricane's involvement with Rutgers University and its affiliates continues beyond graduation. After witnessing firsthand the quality of work Hurricane brings to the table, numerous graduates have only one vendor in mind for their weddings: Hurricane Productions.
It's hard to explain a feeling so intense and tangible that is created by a thousand people in one room. Rutgers Dance Marathon is held annually at the Rutgers Athletic Center (RAC). It's open to the public, so anyone can go visit the students, the kids and the families.
Preakness Hills Country Club in Wayne, NJ is a classic wedding venue that hosts traditional, sophisticated events.
From the inside out, the facility is truly beautiful and unique. Vendor Hurricane Productions provides DJ entertainment, photography and video services for events at Preakness Hills Country Club.
Preakness Hills Country Club was Alyssa's dream wedding venue. She and Ryan, her fiance, fell in love with the look, the atmosphere and the food.
Ryan proposed to Alyssa at Rutgers Dance Marathon, an event that Hurricane Productions has been involved with for years. With the relationship already established, the newly engaged couple visited Hurricane to plan the details of the wedding.
With the hash tag #avrwedding, photos posted by guests through Hurricane Pulse instantly streamed to screens around the room.
Hurricane Productions photographers provided full day coverage for the couple. From bridal preparations to the last dance, each moment was captured by a team of professionals. Videographers documented the entire ceremony and created a full edit of the wedding as well as a highlight for the couple.
Hurricane Productions offers DJ Entertainment, design, photography and video services for weddings in New Jersey, New York, and throughout the East Coast. To find out more information please visit the website or call - 888.393.7066.
When people look at back at Hurricane's 2013, it'll be highlighted by expanding its reach across the northeast. Hurricane used the powerful tool of social media content and marketing to move into other markets.
A strategy that kicked off 2013 with a press conference that announced the company's expansion to Boston, Hurricane saw a boost in regional exposure.
Aside from the live events documented in this post, Hurricane owners/founders Strato Doumanis and Vincent Velasquez created consultation sessions with mid-sized businesses in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. The seminars used Hurricane Productions' marketing model in the private events platform to demonstrate how to grow brands online.
A majority of 2013's events featured unique hashtags that helped clients share moments via photos and videos on Instagram but also stream and print pics in real-time at each unique event.
The Story: Christina and Shanna celebrated a wedding during a summer that rewrote a history in NJ that previously did not recognize same-sex marriages.
The couple chose the hashtag #cswed2013 which helped Hurricane collect over 200 photos from family and friends on Instagram. The pics streamed to a screen setup by the bar and printed as photo favors for guests.
The Princeton Marriott at Forrestal is tucked away off of Route 1 North in the whimsical woods of Princeton. This venue has a welcoming and comfortable feel, much like the service from its event and banquet managers. Attention to detail makes the Princeton Marriott the perfect choice for corporate events and Sweet 16s. Hurricane Productions provides entertainment and staging for such events.
Jill and her family chose the Princeton Marriott for her Willy Wonka themed Sweet 16 because of its location and beautiful space.
Warm hues and superb customer service made their choice even easier.
Jill's family found Hurricane Productions through their connection with Rutgers. Hurricane Productions not only provided entertainment for Jill's event, but also custom design work, screens, photography and pipe and drape.
Host Robert Padovano led guests through the evening's activities and taught special dances to keep the dance floor packed all night. DJ Alvin Gay mixed live and played all of Jill's requests.
Custom graphics for the screens incorporated Jill's Willy Wonka theme to tie the event together. Uplighting near the dance floor complimented the decorations. Black pipe and drape surrounded the room to give more privacy to the party and add an extra touch of class.
Photographer Nick Nittoli captured all the important moments of the night including the grand introduction, candles and cake. Photos posted on Facebook the next day allowed Jill and her friends to relive the night.
To have entertainers from Hurricane Productions like Robert and Alvin at your Sweet 16, visit the website or call - 888.393.7066.
The Oyster Point Hotel is a gorgeous and modern venue overlooking the mouth of the Navesink River in Red Bank, NJ. It's no wonder Krista and Dan chose it for their nautical themed wedding. The Oyster Point Hotel is in the perfect location and has delicious menus and great service. With Krista and Dan's mutual connection to Rutgers University, Hurricane Productions was the clear choice to provide top-down entertainment for the pier-side ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception.
Krista and Dan took full advantage of Hurricane's online wedding planner application, giving specific musical preferences; even planning a flash mob that took the whole reception by surprise. Under the expertise of Hurricane's Dan Toth, the ballroom was adorned with intelligent lighting that complimented the evening's nautical motif. DJ Strato Doumanis skillfully commanded the eager-to-dance guests the whole night, blending 80's hits (the bride and groom's favorite) with modern dance music and classics to get the whole room involved in the fun.
Krista and Dan even took a page from the Hurricane Productions book, employing a special hashtag to use for any social media content posted from their wedding!
It was one of the hottest days of the year, but that didn't stop the self-proclaimed nerd couple and their guests from celebrating with friends and family all through the day and night.
The beautiful, lakeside restaurant, located in the heart of New York City, is also host to private and corporate events. Gorgeous dining rooms, shaded patios and delicious catering menus make the Loeb Boathouse Central Park an ideal destination for your next corporate event.
Phi Sigma Sigma celebrated their Centennial Anniversary with dinner and dancing at the Boathouse. The dinner was one event during a week full of activities to celebrate and commemorate the organization. The Loeb Boathouse served as a central location that allowed women of all ages to connect and celebrate.
Hurricane's photography team captured the event. Hurricane's photographers were not just present at the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park. They also spent the entire week with Phi Sigma Sigma documenting the Centennial Celebration.
Hurricane Productions offers photography and video services for corporate events like Phi Sigma Sigma's. Coverage can be determined on a day by day basis or event by event basis. Phi Sigma Sigma chose to use Hurricane for the entire Centennial week. The week culminated with a photo montage recapping the events.
To learn more about Hurricane Productions' corporate entertainment, production and photography, visit the website or call - 888.393.7066.
You can't help if it rains on your wedding day but you can prepare to deal with it -- especially if you're having an outdoor ceremony. The Mansion on Main Street in Voorhees, NJ has the perfect solution for couples who want the charm of outdoors without the hassle. Their all-glass ceremony space is the perfect alternative that keeps guests comfortable and safe from the rain.
Hurricane Productions provided classic entertainment for the couple. Entertainers Vincent Velasquez and Strato Doumanis, owners of Hurricane Productions, led guests through music and dancing all evening. Rain did not deter anyone from celebrating Samantha and Jack's union.
Uplighting gave the ballroom a pop of color, setting the atmosphere for the evening. Twin totem intelligent lights spotted the couple during introductions, the first dance, parent dances and toasts. Hurricane Productions' own lighting technician operated all lighting equipment to ensure proper electrical usage and appropriate lighting at all times.
Hurricane Productions also provided sound and music for the ceremony and cocktail hour.
To learn more about Hurricane Productions wedding services, check out the following pages:
Only a short distance from the hustle and bustle of Rutgers' New Brunswick campus, the Rutgers Gardens is a series of mesmerizing gardens that host wedding ceremonies and receptions between March and October. Partnered with Twin Oaks Catering, Rutgers Gardens weddings are completed with dynamic entertainment from Hurricane Productions.
Hurricane Productions orchestrated a beautiful ceremony with a fun-filled reception for same-sex couple Christina and Shanna. The couple chose Rutgers Gardens for the beautiful, intimate location and trusted Hurricane Productions to have family and friends dancing the whole night.
Christina and Shanna picked the Art Rudolph Sun and ShadeGarden for their ceremony, and celebrated afterwards under the newly built Lillian Koelsch Pavilion.
Guests took full advantage of Hurricane's Instagram photo booth. Rather than line up and wait to use props with a backdrop, guests took pictures whenever, where ever and were able to have a copy printed instantly for them to take home.
Over 200 photos were tagged using a unique hashtag specifically designed for the couple throughout the day. Unlimited prints were framed for guests, and a stack of photos was for Christina and Shanna to take home.
Rutgers Dance Marathon is genuinely beautiful. College students abandon their usual habits to dance for an entire weekend in honor of children with cancer and blood disorders. If that's not heartwarming, we don't know what is.
Rutgers Dance Marathon is a 32-hour event (held in the College Avenue Gym in New Brunswick, NJ) where Rutgers students stay awake and on their feet to raise money for Embrace Kids Foundation. Embrace Kids is a charity that raises money for the non-medical needs of families with children with cancer or blood disorders.
Hurricane Productions has been involved with Rutgers Dance Marathon for the past seven years. During that time we've picked up on certain things that make it awesome. And in honor of Rutgers Dance Marathon's 15th anniversary, we are going to share the top 15 reasons with you.
15. It's a year long event - Though the Marathon itself is only 32 hours, students plan and fundraising for an entire year in preparation for one short weekend. The day after DM the Board of Directors and Central Planning Team sit down to congratulate themselves then quickly move on to review the weekend and begin improvements for the next year.
14. It's completely student run - DM is a huge event - Not just a couple hundred students but several thousand students. And from top to bottom, this team of students has organized Dance Marathon entirely on its own. We're talking everything from booking entertainment to seeking out sponsors to scheduling the entire 32 hours. That's impressive.
13. The Organizations - There's a common misconception that Rutgers Dance Marathon is an all Greek event. Organizations like the Catholic Students Association, Carpe DM and Douglass Residential College make DM possible. Greek and non-Greek organizations hold bake sales, coffee houses and other events all year to raise money for the Marathon.
12. The Dancers - Let's be honest... the general public perceives college students as sometimes reckless and unprepared for the 'real world.' Everything about DM proves that audience wrong. Not many people would commit to stay awake and on their feet for 32-hours, but these students willingly do. And they do so with a smile. Not only that, they do it for a cause that directly makes a difference in the lives of children and their families. Nothing is more real than that.
11. The Total - Since its beginning in 1999, Rutgers Dance Marathon has raised over three million dollars FTK (for the kids). Each year students rally to raise more funds than the previous year, all in hopes of continuing the DM legacy. No one knows what the total is before it's raised, so as the Dance Marathon Central Planning Team (CPT) reveals the total to the audience, DM alumni raise the total in the upstairs balcony of the College Ave Gymnasium. So the CPT gets to share in the same moment of surprise and joy as everyone else in the gym.
10. Magic 98.3 Radio-Thon - Each year, Magic 98.3 sets up camp in the College Ave Gym. The team does live interviews of students and families to raise money and awareness for Rutgers Dance Marathon. Interviews with people like Glenn Jenkins the Executive Director of Embrace Kids Foundation (seen above) give a voice to the cause.
9. The Guests - When influential people like Coach Kyle Flood, head of the Rutgers Football Team, or Eric LeGrand come to congratulate, motivate and applaud the students for their efforts, there is no better feeling. Coach Flood comes in the early hours on Sunday morning when the going gets tough. He takes time to recognize and motivate students to get them through the end.
8. The Line Dance - Every year DM students choreograph and develop a line dance for all the dancers to learn. The line dance has evolved from a simple slideshow to an iconic, visual centerpiece of Dance Marathon.
7. The Bands - The Marathon doesn't require the dancers to actually dance the entire time, but to simply remain on their feet. Live bands, like the popular Jimmy and the Parrots and The Verdict come to keep the dancers rockin' and help maintain motivation 'til the very end.
6. Club DM - Between the hours of midnight and 3AM Dance Marathon weekend, the College Ave Gym opens up to Rutgers students as an enormous nightclub. Hurricane Productions provides DJ entertainment, and for a small fee, Rutgers students can enter. Thousands of students participate, and all proceeds benefit Rutgers Dance Marathon.
5. Embrace Kids Foundation - In the past DM, like many other Marathons around the country, used to raise money for Children's Miracle Network. Embrace Kids approached DM and gave them the option to raise money for their charity. Why? Because the children they impact are right in New Brunswick. And at the end of the day, students can see exactly what, and who, their efforts support. Embrace Kids Foundation is located right in New Brunswick and works with the Children's Specialized Hospital at Robert Wood. The fact that Embrace Kids is a community leads us to our next point...
4. RU4Kids Program - Embrace Kids Foundation works with Dance Marathon to match student organization with families. Students are able to make a personal connection with the kids and their families by visiting them in the hospital. It's the reason the students come back each year - they have someone to dance for.
3. Family Hour - It starts at hour 28 of the 32 hour event. Just when dancers' feet are hurting and the energy is running low, patients and their families come to the gym to support play games, share a meal and support their organizations. The result is a teary hour or two, with speeches from the parents and patients thanking the students for doing what they do.
2. The Families - When a child is diagnosed with cancer, they are not the only person affected. The parents and siblings of these children are tremendously strong, dealing with the emotional, physical and monetary toll that the illness has on everyone.
1. The Kids - They're the reason why a full gym is completely silent the moment before the total is raised, and booming the moment after. These children are resilient and brave. The hardships others have don't even compare to what these kids endure at such a young age. The treatments they go through aren't easy - screaming, yelling and tears often accompany them. But an hour later, a graceful smile passes on their face as they play a game with their siblings, parents, or better yet, their RU4Kids organization. They are the reason why Dance Marathon thrives.
These 15 reasons are just a sample of many that make Rutgers Dance Marathon so beautiful. If you want to learn more about Rutgers Dance Marathon and Embrace Kids Foundation, visit www.marathon.rutgers.edu or www.embracekids.org.
From moving into a new office right in the heart of downtown Red Bank to helping celebrate the wedding of one of the company's first Sweet 16 clients, 2011 can be defined as a year when the Hurricane Productions brand started to 'grow up' with its clients.
As Hurricane Productions readies itself to entertain a full slate of 2011 events, the company compiled a portfolio of its top 10 events from 2010.
Hurricane Productions introduced uplighting and production into its entertainment packages, enhanced its 'Next-Day' Facebook photo album feature, and perfected family montages and video production in 2010. The year also saw some original Hurricane Productions clients from its start in 2003 come back around for more events - this time for their younger childrens' proms, Sweet 16s and weddings.
Although all the parties and events from 2010 will hold a special place in Hurricane Productions' history, these are the 10 events that told the best stories about the clients, the company, and helped set the stage for a successful 2011.
10. DJ competition at Rutgers University
When: December 9, 2010 Where: College Ave. Student Center The story: Talented DJ and Producer Eugene Veltman (Jenaux) rallied his fraternity to raise money for the upcoming 2011 Rutgers Dance Marathon. He did so by convincing top DJs from Rutgers University to compete in a friendly mix-based event. Featuring house, top 40 and hip hop, DJ EV, DJ Tonic, Ravi B and DJ Dave Kim rocked the Multipurpose Room at the College Avenue Student Center. Hurricane and Red Bull sponsored the event and Hurricane Productions' DJs Strato Doumanis and Eddie 'DJ N9NE' Romani served as the judges. DJ EV walked away as the champ and will be one of four DJs featured at Club DM 2011. Click here for the photo gallery
9. Four former Sweet 16ers bring Hurricane to DJ their high school prom
When: April 23, 2010 Where:Grand Marquis in Old Bridge, NJ The story: Samantha Ortner from Brick, NJ and her family hired Hurricane Productions to entertain her Sweet 16 at the Stone Pony in late 2008. Chelsea and Carly Gleason kicked off Hurricane Productions' 2009 season with their Sweet 16 in January and Ali Jordan celebrated her Sweet 16 at Spano's at White Sands in March 2009. What else do all of these girls have in common? They go to the same high school and serve on the student council. So when it was time to pick a DJ for their prom, they immediately called Hurricane Productions.
8. Sarah's traditional Sweet 16 features choreographed dances and ceremonies
When: October 3, 2010 Where:The Manor in West Orange, NJ The story: When it came to planning a traditional Filipino Sweet 16, the Bacani family searched for a DJ company that would listen to their needs. Simply put, Sarah's guest list was split between her high school friends and her family. She wanted all of her friends to dance with all of her family members and needed a DJ who could handle playing traditional Filipino music and top 40 hits.
Hurricane Productions owner Strato Doumanis compiled a format for the event and helped guide the Bacani family down the path to a successful event. Sarah's Sweet 16 included a traditional choreographed waltz, dedication dances, a photo montage, a traditional Filipino dance called the ‘jota,’ and a candle and rose ceremony.
7. Donald Trump shows up to Nicole's Sweet 16 When: October 1, 2010 Where:Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, NJ The story: Donald Trump walked through the doors of his golf club in Bedminster, NJ and before you now it, he grabbed a pen and signed the welcome board at Nicole's Sweet 16. The visit was unexpected since Trump rarely visits his golf club, but he was in attendance that evening because a number of his high-roller members gathered for a banquet in the adjoining room. Trump stopped in, checked out the party and posed for some photos with our Sweet 16 guest of honor and her family.
When: August 26, 2010 Where:Eagle Oaks Golf Country Club in Farmingdale, NJ The story: Veronica Kole is and up and coming pop singer and at the age of 16, she wanted to throw a Hollywood-style Sweet 16 for her friends. Decked out with her 'name in lights', red carpet with paparazzi, uplighting, video screens and production, she impressed her hometown 'fans' with her party and a duet performance with pop singer Brenda K. Starr.
The event was a quasi-Sweet 16/album release party as Veronica performed and partied all night long. Watch the video to see more from her party.
5. The Gleasons come back to Hurricane - this time for a wedding
When: September 4, 2010 Where: American Legion in Toms River, NJ The story: Remember Carly and Chelsea Gleason from our No. 9 event of 2010? Their older sister, Ashley, got engaged earlier in year and called Hurricane to book her wedding in September. Ashley and Andrew got married on the beach during Labor Day weekend and then celebrated their reception at the American Legion in Toms River.
This is what's cool about Ashley and Andrew's wedding: They threw a huge party and a low-cost venue so that they didn't have to cut any of their friends and family from their guest list. Instead, they budgeted their party for great DJ entertainment and food.
In order to 'dress-up' the rather plain venue, Hurricane Productions transformed the room with uplighting. Watch the video to see the transformation. This wedding is a true example of how DJ entertainment really makes the difference in your celebration.
4. Rutgers University Dance Marathon raises over $378,000
When: 32-hour non-stop event from March 27 - 28 Where: College Avenue Gymnasium at Rutgers University The story: In its third year entertaining Rutgers Dance Marathon, Hurricane Productions accomplished so much in advancing the event and helping it raise money for the Embrace Kids Foundation. Dance Marathon is a feel-good event centered around over 1,000 student volunteers who commit themselves to raising money and awareness for the children with cancer and blood disorders.
Hurricane Productions trained six DJs and five emcees to entertain their peers. The company helped produce DM's original 'line dance' song that is taught to all of the students throughout 32 hours and also filmed and produced a music video to go along with the dance.
When: October 30, 2010 Where:The Palace at Somerset Park The story: When Donny and Gina met Vincent and Strato in 2006 they immediately said "when we get married, you're DJing our wedding." Donny owns D&D Catering located out of the Mercer County Boathouse at Mercer County Park. He met Vincent and Strato back in 2006 during a busy season of Sweet 16s and Hurricane Productions worked at the Boathouse a number of times from 2006-2008. When Donny and Gina got engaged in late 2009 they called Vincent and booked Hurricane for their wedding. The wedding consultations took place at their household and Donny cooked Hurricane full dinners upon their arrivals (Donny is a caterer at heart). Donny, Gina, Strato and Vincent formed a strong friendship during the planning process and it showed at the wedding.
The wedding accented all the best features at the Palace including full ballroom uplighting, video production and a party percussionist. Hurricane also provided music for the afterparty located at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Somerset. To top it all off, Vincent created custom designed and edited DVDs of their photo montage that Donny and Gina gave to their parents as Christmas gifts.
When: November 20, 2010 Where:Robert Meyner Reception Center at PNC Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ The story: Raaga's family was in a bind. They booked a reputable DJ company to entertain her Sweet 16 earlier in 2010 but when the company booked seven other events that evening, the company released Raaga's party within six weeks of the event. Raaga's mom called Hurricane Productions and not only did they save the event but Hurricane upped the ante on the other DJ company.
This event marked Hurricane's most impressive production of 2010. Hurricane Productions designed uplighting for the entire ballroom - completely transforming PNC's reception center. Hurricane created a photo montage and video presentation (using Raaga's family VHS tapes to compile the footage) and put Raaga's 'Name in Lights' using the same font color and design as her Sweet 16 invitations.
Here's what Raaga's mom had to say in an email after the party:
"Finding your company was a blessing in disguise for us. You made it easy for us and addressed our every wish and concern with unparalleled professionalism. I do not think there are enough good superlative adjectives in the dictionary for us to describe your DJ services, and how happy we are with your services. I hope you continue to grow, and wish you continued success in future."
When: August 27, 2010 Where:Hyatt Regency in Jersey City, NJ The story: Brendan Prunty and Hurricane Productions owner Vincent Velasquez worked together at the Star-Ledger and NJ.com since 2006. Vincent, a college intern, and Brendan, fresh out of college, became friends while they worked together as Rutgers football reporters. While on the job, Brendan would share stories about Amanda (his girlfriend turned fiance) and Vincent would finish up work on college football Saturdays to head to a DJ gig. When Brendan got engaged he called Vincent and asked if he would emcee his and Amanda's wedding. Hurricane Productions put together a beautiful celebration at the Hyatt Regency overlooking New York City that included uplighting under the sweetheart table, a photo montage, party percussionist and video production.
This wedding holds a special place in the history of Hurricane Productions because it marks the first crossover of Vincent's full-time job as a sports reporter and his passion as an emcee and host for Hurricane Productions. Just like Donny and Gina, Brendan and Amanda are not just clients but friends. Their stories about their weddings are ones to not just to share with clients but with friends and family alike.
Andrea and Shane's Wedding at the Thayer Hotel in West Point, NY:
Hurricane Productions and its crew traveled to West Point to provide DJ entertainment, uplighting and a party percussionist for an eloquent military wedding. Andrea and Shane found Hurricane Productions through a mutual friend from Vincent's college days at Rutgers University.
Mally's Sweet 16 at the Grand Marquis in Old Bridge, NJ:
Sweet 16 in early 2010 featured Hurricane's first full room uplighting design. Mally wanted a blue color scheme for her Cinderella-themed party. Hurricane Productions decorated the walls and her head table with uplighting and design in the Grand Marquis' Dome Room.