DUNELLEN, NJ - Looking to help needy US kids get new prescription glasses, local teen musicians will host the 8th Annual Kids Rock For Vision fundraiser on Saturday, March 12 at Roxy & Duke’s Roadhouse in Dunellen.
The show, which kicks off at 12:30 p.m., is sponsored and produced by the Chatham School of Rock and features 25 students and alumni of the nationally-recognized music performance school. All proceeds go to New Eyes For The Needy, a Short Hills-based nonprofit that purchases eyeglasses for those who can’t afford them.
The Kids Rock for Vision event has raised more than $50,000 since its 2009 inaugural show, giving hundreds of kids the gift of sight.
“There are thousands of kids in this country whose families can’t afford something as basic, and critical, as a pair of glasses -- something most of us would take for granted,” said Kate Parker, a Governor Livingston High School senior who is co-chairing this year’s event with Millburn High senior Johnny Cleary and Madison High junior Brian Culligan.
“Doing this show every year is a lot of fun,” Parker said. “There’s great music, it’s a great cause, and every year we try to beat our previous fundraising record. Last year’s show sold out and we’re hoping for the same this year.”
Last year, the benefit raised $8,000, providing eyeglasses for more than 140 children. Each pair of glasses costs about $56.
Parker, Cleary and Culligan will take the stage with their bandmates from the Chatham School of Rock Street Team, whose members have performed at national venues including Milwaukee’s Summerfest, Lollapalooza and Connecticut’s annual Gathering of the Vibes.
Also performing are Glass Cow, with Governor Livingston senior Teddy Cole and 2015 Watchung Regional High School alum Ben Overzat, and the Witte Committee, fronted by 2015 Madison High graduate Doug Witte.
"It's hard to believe that these are local teenagers performing these songs. They have incredible talent and great stage presence,” said New Eyes Executive Director Jean Gajano. “New Eyes is so grateful for their continued assistance in helping us change the lives of children through the critical yet simple tool of eyeglasses."
Roxy & Duke’s Roadhouse is located at 745 Bound Brook Road in Dunellen. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the door. The musicians are asking those that can’t make the show to please consider an online donation to New Eyes at www.new-eyes.org.