Arts & Entertainment

Local Teens Raise Funds for Nonprofit to Benefit Disadvantaged Children

February 13, 2013 at 2:41 PM

Back for the fifth year in a row, the Kids Rock for Vision Concert will bring down the house on Saturday, March 2, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Summit. Since its inception in 2009, Kids Rock has raised over $30,000 for the nonprofit, New Eyes for the Needy, located in Short Hills. All proceeds from concert ticket sales and donations go towards the purchase of new prescription eyeglasses for poor children living in the United States. The concert is open to the public. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling New Eyes at 973-376-4903 or purchased at the door.

Summit resident and Morristown-Beard senior, Will Taggart, is the Event Chair for the third year, and is again working with fellow students and Summit residents George Psichos and Andrew McGann. The committee has been organizing ticket sales, strategizing publicity and recruiting bands. Taggart himself has already raised $3,000 with email solicitations to friends, family and past ticket-buyers.

The event is once again being sponsored by School of Rock Chatham. “School of Rock Chatham has been a big part of our success over the past five years,” said Taggart. “They live by their motto of inspiring the world to rock on stage and in life. They bring in the sound board operator and equipment and give us a real professional edge.” The highly respected Street Team Band, comprised of the most accomplished and talented young musical talent at School of Rock Chatham, will be among the bands performing at Kids Rock, as will Taggart with his original band, Sauce.

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This past fall, the Morristown-Beard senior had the opportunity to meet and speak with the actor Jake Gyllenhaal at New Eyes for the Needy’s 80th Anniversary Gala in New York City where the celebrity was honored for his longtime advocacy and support. “It felt unreal,” said Taggart when Gyllenhaal congratulated him for his work on Kids Rock. “It was an awesome experience to get that recognition from someone like him who has done so much to raise the awareness level of New Eyes.”

This will be Taggart’s final year with Kids Rock, having participated in the concert since its inception five years ago.  “I’ve been with Kids Rock from the beginning so it’s a bittersweet year, but I’m happy to help the younger kids like George (Psichos) and Andrew (McGann) take the concert forward,” Taggart said. “I’m so glad we have students willing and able to keep raising money for New Eyes. They’re willing to keep making a difference.”

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