The Light of Day Foundation and its quest to find a cure for Parkinson’s Disease and the Parkinsonisms (ALS and PSP) begins with the power of music. The power of music to heal is a given. The power of music to raise awareness and funds for a cause — in this case, for debilitating neuro-degenerative diseases as Parkinson’s — is the ultimate fever pitch that is seeing the light of day.
It began as a music event/birthday bash in Red Bank, NJ to raise the spirits of music promoter Bob Benjamin after his Parkinson’s diagnosis. It has turned into a charitable foundation that hosts nearly 80 events in 13 countries, spanning three continents. That one-off event raised nearly $2,000 for NYC’s Parkinson’s Disease Foundation thanks to Bob’s request to “pass the hat.” Little did he know what was to come…or did he?
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. A surprise appearance by local hero Bruce Springsteen — who joined the Houserockers for a raucous hour-long set — ignited what would become a tradition. The rest is history, still in the making.
Flash forward 20 years to The Light of Day Winterfest’s 20th Anniversary Celebration. The 10-day music festival has become a signature event in the New Jersey/New York metropolitan area with Asbury Park as the central mothership. It’s a true grassroots effort of musicians, music fans and benefactors. Over the years with the help of New Jersey artists such as the legendary Bruce Springsteen, actor Michael J. Fox and countless musicians, sponsors, organizations and community love – the LOD Foundation is closing in on its goal. They hope to reach the 6 million dollar mark this year.
It’s milestone year features over 50 events by 150 music acts in five cities and three states, from Jan. 10-20, 2020. The cities: New Jersey’s Asbury Park and Montclair; New York City and Rockland County, NY and Philadelphia, PA
LIGHT OF DAY’S TONY PALLAGROSI REVEALS WHAT SOCIALLY SPARKED HIS LIFE FOR THE CAUSE
We caught up with co-founder and Light of Day Foundation Executive Director Tony Pallagrosi during Winterfest’s New York City celebration at the iconic Cutting Room to learn what Socially Sparked® his life as it relates to LOD, Parkinson’s Disease and LOD Winterfest. Here’s what he had to say.
Bob Benjamin. “I first got involved in 1998 when my friend and colleague, Bob Benjamin was first diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s in his late 30s. That’s how we got started. It was Bob’s idea to collect money and donate the funds to the Parkinson’s Foundation.”
My Mother. “Then, my mother was diagnosed with PSP – Progressive Supra Nuclear Palsy – which is a Parkinsonism that is terminal. You have between five and 12 years to live. Watching my mother deteriorate before me and not being able to help her out of her misery had a huge impact on my life. These neuro degenerative diseases of the brain are incredibly complex and they mutate. You’re a hostage in your own body. It’s horrible to watch.”
“You should be able to put the people that you love out of abject misery. The drugs are 60 or 70 years old. There have been some clinical breakthroughs, but nothing close to a cure. The problem with ALS & PSP is that for years, there’s no plug to pull. So it becomes this quazi ethical decision.” – Tony Pallagrosi
Bob Benjamin, Tony Pallagrosi, The Light of Day Foundation and the countless people, fans, volunteers, musicians, supporters, sponsors, communities and countries have Socially Sparked® our lives and those afflicted with Parkinson’s and their families. The Foundation has raised over 5.5 million dollars towards a cure since its inception. As they enter their 20th year, the good people behind and in front of the many stages of Light of Day Winterfest can see the light a bit more clearly. The goal is to make the 6 million dollar mark. — Abbe is Forever #Socially Sparked! — Tweet us @sosparkednews & @asparks01
More information on Parkinson’s Disease and Parkinsonisms can be found at The Parkinson’s Foundation NYNJ website. To donate to the LOD Foundation visit: www.lightofday.org
SURPRISE RETURN OF BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN FOR LOD WINTERFEST @ PARAMOUNT THEATRE
ABOUT THE LIGHT OF DAY FOUNDATION
The Light of Day Foundation, Inc. utilizes the awesome power of music to raise money and awareness in its continuing battle to defeat Parkinson’s disease and related neuro-degenerative diseases, specifically Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), within our lifetime. The Foundation’s mission is to fund research into possible cures, improved treatments and support for patients who suffer from those diseases, their families and their caregivers to help improve their quality of life. Gifts to the Light of Day Foundation, Inc. are tax-deductible to the full extent of the Internal Revenue Code. The Light of Day Foundation, Inc. is designated by the IRS as a not-for-profit 501(c) (3) organization. The Light of Day Foundation, Inc.’s Federal ID # is 20-1560386.