The Light of Day

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The Light of Day

Ocean Grove will host the first Australian version of a worldwide charity concert supported by rockers Bruce Springsteen, Johnny Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls, Joe Grushecky, Darlene Love, Willie Nile, Garland Jeffreys and many others. What began as a birthday party to lift the spirits of co-founder and guiding inspiration Bob Benjamin, a well-known New Jersey/New York music business figure after his Parkinson’s diagnosis 15 years ago, the Light of Day Foundation has raised over US$3 million worldwide through the ‘Power of Music’ in its fight against Parkinson’s and related neurodegenerative diseases like ALS and PSP.
The Light of Day Australia (LODA) charity concert, staged in aid of Australian and US Parkinson’s charities, will take place at The Piping Hot Chicken and Burger Grill on Saturday, July 19. The event promises to be the biggest in the venue’s history, with the likes of Marshall Okell, Chris Wilson, Rebecca Barnard, Nick Barker, Jackie Marshall, Tim Neal, Sarah Carroll, Sweet Felicia and the Bash Big Band packing the bill.
LOD Australia is organised by local music fans Alan Barber and Richard Grimmett. Alan and Richard were involved in last year’s New York Marathon for Parkinson’s campaign which netted $17,500 for Parkinson’s Victoria. It was during that time that Alan met with the organisers of the Light of Day Foundation in New Jersey and was given their blessing to bring the event Down Under.
Alan and Richard are committed to establishing the show as an annual event to raise funds and awareness for the Parkinson’s cause. In future years they hope to bring over some of the American performers to play guest spots.
Light of Day is the title of a Springsteen song and a film starring Parkinson’s campaigner Michael J. Fox, who himself lives with the disease. The first LOD event was in the Springsteen home territory of Asbury Park, New Jersey, where it now runs for 10 days of shows each year, with satellite tours in Europe and Canada.
“We can’t have Springsteen but we do have a great line-up of home-grown Aussie talent,” said Alan. Half the money raised will go to Parkinson’s Victoria and half will go to the LOD Foundation in New Jersey. “We promise this will be a memorable evening of music for a very good cause. Hopefully everyone who attends will leave informed about Parkinson’s as well as the positive message that everyone needs to work together to beat this cursed disease.”
Light of Day Australia is on Saturday, July 19 at The Piping Hot Chicken and Burger Grill. Tickets are available for $65 through the venue.
What is Parkinson’s?
Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative disorder of unknown cause. While advancing age remains the greatest risk factor, one in 10 sufferers are diagnosed before they reach 40. There is no objective test, or biomarker, for Parkinson’s disease, so the rate of misdiagnosis can be relatively high, especially when the diagnosis is made by a non-specialist. Estimates of the number of people living with the disease therefore vary, but recent research indicates more than five million worldwide have Parkinson’s disease.
• Approximately 80,000 Australians have PD.
• Since 2006, numbers have increased by 17 per cent in people over 50. Generally, prevalence is increasing by 4 percent per year and will double by 2030.
• PD can affect adults of any age.
• Every year, 10,950 Australians are diagnosed (30 people every day).
• 1in 5 (20 per cent) diagnosed are of working age.
We are using this opportunity to raise awareness and funds for Parkinson’s Victoria. Currently the Victorian State Government commits just $200,000 per year – the equivalent of less than $9 per person living with Parkinson’s – while the Federal Government provides no recurrent funding. Every year 10,950 Australians are diagnosed (30 people every day) and 1 in 5 of those is of working age.