THE BLOG
04/04/2014 01:13 pm ET Updated Jun 04, 2014

Sam Moore's Tribute to Martin Luther King/ SeriousFun Gala Remembers Paul Newman

It might have been your typically rousing Sam Moore concert at City Winery this week, featuring the Soul Man's classic repertoire, starting with "Let the Good Times Roll," "Knock on Wood," "I Can't Stand the Rain," "Hold On [I'm Coming]," and with two young women he met at a concert, "Something is Wrong with My Baby." But just as this great night was escalating in excitement, Sam wanted to remember Martin Luther King whose death day is April 4. And so he added a new song, "They Killed a King." It may have added a sentimental touch to a performance that is smooth and soulful, but, as Moore's wife Joyce explained, Sam knew him. He finished a generous session exclaiming, "Now, let's get crazy," for "I Thank You" his signature "Soul Man," "Dance to the Music," segueing to the music from Shaft. The octogenarian has never seemed younger.

Kids having fun may be a given but at the network of camps under the umbrella Serious Fun, that experience is a gift to children who may not be having much because of illness or disability. Originated by Paul Newman as the Hole in the Wall camp 25 years ago, the fun camp legacy continues in the United States, and elsewhere: Israel, Hungary, Italy, South Africa, and more. On Wednesday night, Cipriani 42nd Street was chockablock with supporters, there to bid on the vacation in Italy, and another in Alaska, but mostly they were there for the kids. Robin Roberts introduced several campers who spoke about their experiences. Al Pacino got up to say that a Yale study showed that these kids after a week show more confidence. Robert DeNiro spoke about the scope of the network. Tim Rose was honored for his commitment and fine work at camp. And then there were the performances. As kids learn they can be fearless and limitless, Kristin and Maggie danced and sang. Tony Bennett took the stage singing, "For Once in my Life" and "I Left my Heart in San Francisco," but then he did something unusual asking that the mikes be turned off for "Fly Me to the Moon." Even in the cavernous space, you could hear every note. Amazing. Sara Bareilles ended the night with "Brave," with everyone joining in on the fun.

A version of this post also appears on Gossip Central.