Monday, June 1, 2009

Beautiful Sounds at Share the Beat 2009 Boston

By: Finance Foodie

This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of attending the star studded Share the Beat fundraiser featuring legendary Boston Pops conductor John Williams, Nashville piano man Phil Vassar, award winning director James Redford, and hunky plumber James Denton. Share the Beat is a longstanding event held to benefit the American Society of Transplantation (AST), an organization dedicated to supporting transplant research and the training of transplant professionals and the Redford AnimAction Project: It's a Rap, an educational outreach program geared toward youth and dedicated to raising organ transplant awareness.

First up was an introduction by the night’s emcee James Denton (aka Mike the hottie plumber from Desperate Housewives), who has been a long time supporter of organ transplant research.

After a few words from AST president Barbara Murphy, James Redford took the stage to speak about his own liver transplant and his charitable foundation that supports organ donation awareness. James, whose complexion was not as “sun- kissed” as his brother Robert’s, concluded that this night was a “celebration for not only those who receive, but also for those who give.” Well said, my fair skinned friend.

Nancy Erhard then took the stage to share her touching story of her late son, Bo, whose selfless donation of his organs helped save 50 lives. This was followed by a lovely musical performance by the talented young singer and kidney transplant recipient Ariana Kershenbaum. By this point, I was so touched by the stories I heard, I was almost in tears.

Luckily, my eyes were dried by the appearance of country star Phil Vassar. Phil’s jovial attitude, booming voice, and powerful songs lit up the room. It literally did, as my pictures started coming out clearer!
Now for the moment I had been waiting for….uber baller composer and Boston Pops Conductor John Williams. If you haven’t heard of him, you must have lived under a rock for the past 30 years because this guy composed the scores for some of the biggest blockbusters in Hollywood (ET, Star Wars, Indiana Jones…the list goes on). To cap off the night, Williams showcased some of his biggest hits as well as paid special tribute to movie producer/director Stanley Donen. The extremely affable and talkative Stanley is also an uber baller who directed and danced with Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire.

I was shocked / appalled to learn that only 38% of all US citizens are registered organ donors. C’mon people! Signing up for organ donation is not like applying to college. There are no essays, no recommendation forms, and no fees - just a simple form that takes less than 10 minutes to complete. I used this easy-to-read step-by-step guide on organ donation to sign up. Just think, 10 minutes equals countless lives saved.


Kristy W said...

Looks like an fun night! Happy birthday FF!

Ed Kershenbaum said...

Hi - thanks for the shout out to Ariana and Share The Beat in general. I thought that Nancy's presentation was incredibly moving, especially coming before Ariana's performance. Seeing her up on stage, knowing all she'd been through, really drove home the life-transforming power of transplantation. (Disclaimer - I'm Ariana's dad :)

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