Jay Leno’s 5-night of performances at The Firehouse Theatre this week raised $18,000 for The Newport Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge #8 (“FOP”).

5 Nights of Leno, was presented by The Bit Players and Firehouse Theater in association with What’s Up Newp. Each night featured a performance from the former Tonight Show host, followed by q&a with the audience.

Leno chose the local Fraternal Order of Police as the recipient of proceeds fom the five-night residency at The Firehouse Theater.

Jay Leno and Frank Fusaro, Artistic Director of the Firehouse Theater, presented members of the FOP with a check for $18,000 on Friday morning.

While tickets for Tuesday night’s performance were reserved for a complimentary performance for members of the Newport Police Department, tickets for Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday sold out in less than an hour.

[‘Thank You,’ Leno tells cops at sold-out comedy show]

Prior to the event, Scott Moody, President of the Newport FOP, told What’s Up Newp that the FOP “intends to utilize the proceeds from Mr. Leno’s donation for the well-being of all Newport Police Officers, to enhance the training received by and equipment used by Newport Police Officers,  and to further support the charitable causes that the FOP contributes to every year.”

According to Charity Navigator, Fraternal Order of Police Newport Lodge No 8 is a 501(c)(8) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 2018, and donations are tax-deductible.

Moody says that in the past the FOP has used its resources to purchase a state-of-the-art drone for use by the Police Department, to purchase IFAK’s (individual first aid kits) for Police Officers, to purchase and maintain gym equipment for the Police Department gym used by Officers, and to provide enhanced and additional training opportunities for Officers.

Every year the FOP supports various charitable causes such as an annual Christmas Basket Event, community policing events, and local sports leagues and other deserving organizations, and provides charitable donations from the “no-shave” event, according to Moody.

“The proceeds from Mr. Leno’s generous donation will further the FOP’s ability to support the advancement of the Newport Police Department and to support these worthy charitable causes”, Moody concluded.

In October 2019, Leno teamed up with The Bit Players and What’s Up Newp to put on a show at the JPT Film & Event Center, which raised $30,000 for a Newport firefighter battling cancer.

Leno at The Firehouse Theater

Leno is no stranger to the Firehouse Theater, on November 27 he surprised a sold-out audience on hand to see The Bit Players with a 30-minute set of stand-up comedy.

When The Bit Players got a call at the Firehouse Theater in August 2019 an hour before their show on Friday night from Jay Leno asking if they had any time for him to do a few minutes of stand-up comedy? They went along with it, never expecting it to actually be him, it turned out to actually be him and he surprised the audience with a twenty-minute comedy set.

More Coverage – Jay Leno

Dec. 24 – Leno wraps up five nights of celebrating local police

Dec. 22 – ‘Thank You,’ Leno tells cops at sold-out comedy show

Dec. 21 – Leno performs for another sold-out crowd at Firehouse Theater

Dec. 19 – Jay Leno warms up the crowd at Firehouse Theater

Dec. 13 – Jay Leno to perform at Firehouse Theatre for 5 consecutive nights

Nov. 28 – Jay Leno surprises Bit Players audience with a 30-minute set of stand-up comedy

Oct. 4, 2019 – Jay Leno, supporters raise more than $30,000 for Newport firefighter battling cancer

Sept. 9, 2019 – Jay Leno to perform at Jane Pickens Theater, proceeds will support Newport Firefighter battling cancer

Aug. 10, 2019 – Jay Leno surprises crowd at The Bit Players with twenty-minute comedy set

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.