Source: Asbury Park Press
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder that affects nearly 1 million people in the United States and over 10 million worldwide, according to the Parkinson’s Foundation. It’s the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s and is the 14th leading cause of death in the U.S.
“When they find a cure for Parkinson’s, we’re going to have a massive party right here in Asbury Park,” musician Willie Nile says.
The Light of Day (LOD) started in 1998 when a 40th birthday party was held for music manager Benjamin after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. “We had a surprise party for Bob to lift his spirits,” said Tony Pallagrosi, the executive director of The Light of Day. “He suggested that we pass the hat to raise funds for the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation — he went to them for support and guidance. We did, and raised $2,000 at that event. Now heading into this year, we’re hoping to pass the $6 million mark.”
Bruce Springsteen has performed, unannounced, at 11 of the 19 Light of Days. “It’s all due to Bob’s hard work,” says Springsteen. “He took a very tough hand he was dealt and really did something with it.”
The Light of Day Foundation has made a $100,000 donation to the Parkinson’s Foundation to launch the Come Out In The Light of Day educational initiative, a pilot program to be tested in New Jersey for patients who are newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s. And LOD programs include Boxing for Bob, designed to use boxing exercises for the benefit of people with Parkinson’s and related diseases. The classes are offered free of charge at Gladiator’s Gym in Forked River and Gold’s Gym in Howell.
Concertgoers can purchase tickets for individual shows, on an a la carte basis, including Bob’s Birthday Bash at the Paramount Theater. Tickets for the other club shows range from Free to $30.