Upcoming April 29 Performance to Benefit Mary’s Place by the Sea in Ocean Grove
BELMAR, NJ — When Belmar musician Pat Roddy performed live on Facebook on March 25, it began as a way to entertain his fans during the fledgling days of the coronavirus crisis.
While the Americana-Celtic rocker’s livestream gained 600 views that first night, the number jumped to 12,000 views the next day.
“I said, ‘Oh boy, we gotta do something good,’ ” Roddy said, in reaction to the tremendous response.
That “something” was to raise funds for local charities, and since then, he has performed every Wednesday, raising more than $31,000 to benefit nonprofits in Monmouth County and beyond. All money raised during his virtual concerts goes right to the charities.
Before Roddy started doing fundraisers, fans inquired about “a virtual tip jar” so they could compensate him for his music, according to Matt Stragazzi, Roddy’s manager. Instead, the musician knew that organizations like Fulfill were hurting, so he dedicated his next concert to help support the Neptune-based food bank.
In response, fans donated nearly $8,000 toward that April 1 fundraiser and another $6,100 during a second benefit concert on April 20 — for a total of some $14,100 that contributed to providing 42,300 meals, according to Fulfill.
“We can’t thank Pat Roddy enough for offering his talent and most of all, his time to help raise money for those in need. He truly embodies the meaning of coming together in times of hardship, something that is particularly important to those of us on the Jersey Shore,” said Kim Guadagno, Fulfill CEO and president, and former lieutenant governor of New Jersey.
In addition, Roddy raised more than $7,000 in funds during his April 8 performance for Interfaith Neighbors, an Asbury Park nonprofit that addresses the issue of homelessness. And the following week, he brought in some $10,000 in donations for New York City-based Gilda’s Club, a cancer support nonprofit.
This Wednesday, April 29, Roddy will be fundraising for Mary’s Place by the Sea of Ocean Grove, a support home for women receiving treatment for cancer.
“It’s crazy the amount of publicity this is getting,” Roddy said. “I guess it’s just rolling from word of mouth kind of stuff.”
Normally, Roddy would be playing about four nights a week around New Jersey and New York City. He thinks the surge in views is because his fans are spread out all over these locations. Now, they can tune in all at once.
“Without the fans, it wouldn’t happen,” Stragazzi added.
While social distancing as a result of COVID-19 prompted Roddy to start livestreaming in the first place, there is a possibility that he will continue fundraising even after the pandemic.
“It would be a really good thing to do … We’ll definitely try to do that, and if it rolls, it rolls. Maybe I’ll do shows every Wednesday out in clubs for benefits,” Roddy said. “It’s doing something that’s real and right there.”
Click here to watch Roddy’s concert on Facebook at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 29, which will benefit Mary’s Place by the Sea, a respite for women with cancer who need a break from medical treatments and daily responsibilities to focus on healing: mind, body and soul.
The state-of-the-art, custom-built, 10-bedroom home in Ocean Grove, located one block from the beach has served 10,000 women with cancer since opening in 2009. For more information, visit its website.
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