The Light of Day Foundation, Inc., utilizes the power of music to raise money and awareness in its continuing battle to defeat Parkinson’s disease and related illnesses such as PSP and ALS.
Light of Day Concerts were held throughout Asbury Park in January and photographer John Posada was on hand to shoot many of them. We gathered about 40 of his photos for a slideshow gallery across two pages in New Jersey Stage magazine. Click here for the slideshow.
See here is Reagan Richards and Gordon Brown of the Nashville/Asbury Park based band Williams Honor.
The Foundation’s mission is to fund research into possible cures, improved treatments and support for patients who suffer from those illnesses, their families and their caregivers to help improve their quality of life. The primary fundraising efforts are an annual series of concerts held in Asbury Park, NJ. Since its inception in 2000, Light of Day has raised over $4.5 million in the fight to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease. What began as a single concert in New Jersey has grown into approximately seventy shows in thirteen countries on 3 continents including North America, Europe and Australia!
The concerts and the organization began as a birthday party in November 1998 at the Downtown Cafe in Red Bank, NJ to celebrate the 40th birthday of artist manager and music industry veteran Bob Benjamin. Benjamin had recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system, and in lieu of gifts, asked that donations be made to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation. Over $2,000 was raised that night. Spurred by the generosity and support, Benjamin reached out to friends, including concert promoter Tony Pallagrosi and musician Joe D’Urso, and formed the Light of Day charity, taking its name from a Bruce Springsteen song.
The first official Light of Day concert was held at Asbury Park, NJ’s legendary Stone Pony in November 2000 and primarily featured local, unsigned artists. The critically acclaimed Pittsburgh-based band Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers (managed by Benjamin) headlined the show, which featured a surprise appearance by local hero Bruce Springsteen, who joined the Houserockers for a raucous hour-long set.
Over the years Light of Day has grown from a one-day event into a festival spanning 10 days in the New Jersey/New York metropolitan area. More significantly, Light of Day has expanded into an internationally recognized tour, through a true grassroots effort of musicians, music fans and benefactors. Light of Day shows take place around the world on 3 continents, including six shows in Canada, an 18 day late November into December trek through Europe, with stops in England, Wales, Ireland, Sweden, Belgium, Norway, Denmark, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, plus a brand new Light of Day event in Australia! Portions of the proceeds from each show are donated to a local Parkinson's organization.
Performers at Light of Day have included Bruce Springsteen (numerous appearances), Michael J. Fox, John Rzeznik (Goo Goo Dolls), Ed Kowalczyk (Live), Darlene Love, Southside Johnny, Jesse Malin, Alejandro Escovedo, Willie Nile, Garland Jeffreys, Jakob Dylan, Lucinda Williams, Badly Drawn Boy, Pete Yorn, Gary US Bonds, Joe D’Urso and Stone Caravan, John Eddie and many more local unsigned artists.
Light of Day also fields a team in the annual Parkinson's Unity Walk in New York's Central Park. Over the years the Light of Day team has raised $80,000, which helped the Walk raise over $3 million for Parkinson's research.
PHOTO: One of Jersey's power couples in rock and roll. Eryn Shewell and her husband Matt O'Ree. Photos by John Posada