On Wednesday night, July 30th, Jon Bon Jovi fans jammed the Basie to hear their favorite musician play live in support of Parker Family Health Center. Backed by stellar local musicians Kings of Suburbia, Bon Jovi sold out the Basie and streamed the rousing performance on line for those unable to reserve a seat.
Savoring the concert along with the crowd was Jonah Gold, a sixteen year old, New Jersey, die hard Bon Jovi fan. What set Jonah apart from other concert goers was not his confinement to a wheelchair but the fact that Jonah came to the concert having raised over $8,000 for the Parker Center!
Jonah suffers from Aicardi-Goutieres syndrome, a rare genetic disorder afflicting a very small percentage of the worldwide population. A rock fan and aspiring drummer, Jonah’s been an admirer of Jon Bon Jovi for quite some time. Last year Jonah wrote to Bon Jovi, expressing his hope to someday meet Jon in person. Jonah’s dream came true this past spring with a surprise visit from Jon. The visit ended with a newly forged friendship and promises to keep in touch.
Soon after that memorable occasion, Jon invited Jonah to the upcoming Parker Family Benefit Concert. Concert tickets in hand, Jonah questioned how he could possibly repay Bon Jovi’s generosity and came up with an idea of his own. He, Jonah, would solicit donations on behalf of Jon’s charity, the Parker Family Health Center, and then surprise Bon Jovi with his proceeds the night of the show! With the help of family and friends, Jonah set about realizing his plan and now holds the record as “youngest/ most money-raised” benefactor of the Parker Family Health Center.
The electrifying concert’s now over and Jonah’s on to summer camp. Parker Family’s phones are ringing and patients fill the Center’s rooms. But for that one night, that special Wednesday summer night, Parker Family, Jon Bon Jovi and Jonah all came together to celebrate the message of hope Jonah finds so memorable in Bon Jovi’s “Because We Can”.
Because we can, our love can move a mountain
We can, if you believe in we
We can, just wrap your arms around me
We can, we can
Because we can