Country music event to benefit Cooley’s Anemia Foundation

September 3, 2009

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Michael Patrick’s 3rd annual Jersey Country Revival taking place this Saturday, Sept. 5th at Brewster’s in Bradley Beach, is going to be bigger and better than ever!

Featured artists include John Eddie, Bob Polding, Michael Patrick & The Suburban Hillbillies, Victory Gin, Old No. 7, Chuck Schaeffer, Anthony Manno, Rodeo Clowns and many, many more! I recently spoke with Michael Patrick about this annual event.

Michael Patrick is the undisputed Country music Evangelist of New Jersey. Not only has he founded the Jersey Country Revival, but also Suburban Roots Concert Series; a series of intimate concerts in the New Jersey area featuring national and local Americana, Roots, Folk and Country music artists.

Michael also fronts his own bands, “The Suburban Hillbillies,” and his Johnny Cash tribute band, “Ring of Fire,” and both will be featured players in this year’s Jersey Country Revival. In recent years he has shared the stage with many national artists including Randy Travis just last month, Marty Stuart, Roseanne Cash, The Marshall Tucker Band, The Outlaws, Justin Townes Earle and David Allen Coe to name a few.

This year’s Jersey Country Revival’s mission is two-fold in that it is celebrating its 3rd year of showcasing Country music artists in New Jersey, while raising awareness of and donating proceeds to The Cooley’s Anemia Foundation. Cooley’s anemia (or Thalassemia) is a fairly common blood disorder, and one that is close to Michael’s heart as it affects members of his family.

In layman’s terms, Thalassemia is a genetic disorder that occurs when there are not enough red blood cells being produced. The treatments, which include blood transfusions (sometimes bi-weekly), lead to an overabundance of iron in the blood, which then leads to even more severe medical complications which also need to be treated. Cooley’s anemia can be a very expensive, physically debilitating and fatal disorder, one which takes a toll not only on the sufferers, but also their family members and loved ones. The Cooley’s Anemia Foundation (CAF) is participating in the event by volunteering with staff, many of whom are sufferers of the illness.

There will be raffles and prizes supplied by donors Colts Neck Custom Shop (Finest Guitars on the Jersey Shore), Mattison Marquette, Robin Trower Concert Tickets, The CBS Late Show with David Letterman and others, with proceeds benefiting CAF. The biggest contributor helping to get this year’s event off the ground is Michael Patrick’s good friend and Suburban Roots Concert Series co-promoter, Emma Birchill, who along with Michael Patrick, has been pounding on doors and working her special breed of charm to secure great artists, prizes, promotions and PR.

This year’s JCR headliner is singer/songwriter and NJ rocker John Eddie, a legend on the Jersey Shore who has also left his mark across the map. In recent years John has added a more Country/Folksy flair to his musical repertoire. This is most apparent in his latest, critically acclaimed CD, “Who The Hell Is John Eddie?” on Lost Highway Records. His songs are witty and honest, and his performances are gritty and electrifying.

The other acts in this year’s Revival are no slouches either. The show begins at Noon when The Rodeo Clowns take the stage leading up to the final acts which include Michael Patrick’s “Ring of Fire” at 7:00, Bob Polding (who just this past Sunday opened for Peter Frampton at The Stone Pony) at 9:00, “The Suburban Hillbillies” at 10:00 and John Eddie at 11:00 til’ the cows come home!!!

The 3rd Annual Jersey Country Revival on September 5th is about bringing people together for a day of music, awareness and most importantly fund-raising. Whether people come out because they are already familiar with the effects of Cooley’s anemia/Thalassemia, or they come because they are fans of great Country music and know little to nothing about Cooley’s, they’re certain to leave entertained, excited, informed and feeling good knowing they did their part to help out a great cause.

Whatever it is that brings people to the show, the word about New Jersey Country and Cooley’s anemia is sure to reach a whole new, larger audience and achieve record-breaking donations. The event is an all day affair starting at noon for a $10 admission fee, and $20 admission after 9:00pm. Guests can leave and re-enter once they purchase their wristbands.

Jersey Country Revival concert to raise funds for anemia foundation Sept. 5

August 26, 2009

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Michael Patrick’s 3rd Annual Jersey Country Revival will take place at Brewster’s Bar & Grill in Bradley Beach starting at noon on Saturday, September 5, 2009.

The concert showcases live 12 New Jersey Country music acts, features headliner John Eddie and benefits The Cooley’s Anemia Foundation, leading the fight against Thalassemia (

The Revival celebrates its 3rd year of showcasing Country music in New Jersey, while donating proceeds to The Cooley’s Anemia Foundation, whose mission is advancing the treatment and cure for the fatal blood disease Thalassemia, enhancing the quality of life of patients and educating the medical profession, trait carriers and the public about Cooley’s Anemia/Thalassemia major. An organization of personal importance to Patrick, as this is an illness that has affected his loved ones.

Michael Patrick is an established local performer, who recently shared the stage with such country superstars as Randy Travis, Rosanne Cash and Marty Stuart. Along with his success performing as a solo artist, Patrick currently fronts two bands, Michael Patrick and the Suburban Hillbillies ( and the Ring of Fire Band, a Johnny Cash Tribute (

Patrick is also founder of the Suburban Roots Concert Series (,, a concert promotion group whose mission is to support and promote artists in the Americana, Roots, Folk and Country genres in Patrick’s home state of New Jersey.

We are very pleased and proud to announce the addition of singer/songwriter John Eddie ( as headline performer for the Country Revival. John Eddie is a legend on the Jersey Shore, not to mention his success across the country, including regular appearances in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New England and the Midwest. A true-grit rocker, once touted as the next Bruce Springsteen, Eddie’s musical journey led him into Country and Folk territory in recent years. His songs are witty, rollicking, honest and sometimes downright heartbreaking. His live performances are electrifying, leaving the crowd on its feet and shouting for more.

The show and continues until closing at 1:00 a.m. Featured local performers include: Michael Patrick and the Suburban Hillbillies, Bob Polding Band (, Ring of Fire Band, Victory Gin (, Rob Dye Band (, Old No. 7 (, BBQ Bob and His Only Friends (, E-Boro Bandits (, Rodeo Clowns (, Anthony Manno ( Chuck Schaeffer ( and Acoustic Thunder (

Sponsors of the event include: Colts Neck Custom Shop (Finest Guitars on the Jersey Shore), The Cooley’s Anemia Foundation, Brewster’s Bar & Grill, Suburban Roots Concert Series and others to be announced at a later date. In addition to the live music there will be raffles, contests, prizes and 50/50’s, with proceeds benefiting The Cooley’s Anemia Foundation.

Admission to the benefit is $10 from noon until 9 pm and $20 after 9pm. Guests can re-enter once they purchase their wristbands. All ages are welcome at this “family friendly” event at Brewster’s Bar & Grill, which is located adjacent to a bowling alley. Bring the whole family for an affordable day of fun and music.

For more information visit:

Ninth Cooley’s Anemia Symposium

July 13, 2009

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Thanks to scientific advances, individuals with thalassemia—a group of genetic blood disorders which includes Cooley’s Anemia—are now living into their 40s and 50s. Not only are individuals living longer, but their quality of life has increased. Scientific and clinical advancements have resulted in new iron-chelating drugs, early detection of organ failure, an understanding of adult complications associated with living with thalassemia (osteoporosis, heart failure, growth hormone defi ciency, pulmonary hypertension, and in fertility) and promising progress towards the ultimate magic bullet—a cure in the form of bone marrow and cord blood transplants, or gene therapy.

The symposium will integrate basic science and clinical research so that both scientists and clinicians can develop a mutual understanding of recent progress in thalassemia.Patients are also welcome to attend the symposium and are eligible for discounted prices. Please email or call 800. 522.7222 for more information.

The Thalassemia Action Group (TAG), the only national patient support group for thalassemia patients, will host a one-day meeting in conjunction with this conference. The meeting, to be held on Saturday October 24th from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, is intended for patients and family members in order to educate them on presentations and scientific advancements discussed during the symposium. It is a chance for patients to hear experts on thalassemia, ask questions and discuss the concerns that face those afflicted with thalassemia. For more information please visit or email For information about registration to the TAG meeting please call 800.522.7222 (ext 205)

Call for Abstracts

The deadline for abstract submissions is Friday, August 14, 2009. For complete abstract instructions, please e-mail: Type the words “Abstract Information” in the subject line—there is no need to type a message. Instructions will be forwarded automatically. Any questions, please call 212.298.8681.

Major legion effort for boy

March 16, 2009

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Much like our troops, the Royal Canadian Legion is sending aid overseas.

Despite recent obstacles, branch 414 in Woodbridge accepted the challenge of helping a Romanian child in dire need of a bone marrow transplant.

“In a time we might think our doors will close, we’re putting this child ahead of us,” said Andy Straisfeld, branch 414 ways and means officer.

“We have to help the child first and we’re hoping the community will help us later,” Mr. Straisfeld said.

But George Bliderisanu, the nine-month-old child diagnosed with beta major thalassemia, or cooley anemia, isn’t waiting for some small donation.

The legion is determined to raise the 150,000 Euros ($232,000 Cdn.) needed for George’s surgery.

George’s cooley anemia is an inherited blood disorder that reduces the production of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is found in red blood cells, those same cells that carry oxygen to other cells throughout the body.

The disorder, which progressively worsens with time, greatly affects a child’s growth process.

A bone marrow transplant is the only cure for cooley anemia and will eliminate George’s dependence on monthly blood transfusions.

But the transplant needs to happen before George shows any sign of organ problems.

So the legion is hosting several events to meet their generous goal.

In October, the organization hosted two events including a Johnny Cash concert that raised $2,000.

On Nov. 21, the legion will welcome the Three Elvis’s from Collingwood.

“We got a lot of donations from local restaurants, breweries and wineries, so whatever we can sell we can make for George,” Mr. Straisfeld said.

But it doesn’t end with Elvis either. The organization is already making plans for the spring and summer months.

“We have a big field next to the legion hall that’s perfect for a big fair, and we’re hoping to ask the Rotary and Lions clubs to help out,” Mr. Straisfeld said.

Though a lot of people have expressed an interest in donating a helping hand, Mr. Straisfeld said he has yet to secure any formal commitments.

“Being a son of Romanian parents, I made a passionate plea and the membership felt this was the right thing to do,” he said.

Though legion members willingly took on the challenge, Mr. Straisfeld was initially apprehensive about the proposal.

“I thought it would be a tough sell to the members because we have our own things to worry about,” he said. “But at the end of the day, as long as our doors are open, we can’t say no to the people we’re supposed to serve.”

One of Mr. Straisfeld’s roles is to break the stigma the legion has in the community. He said the legion will always be there for Canadian veterans, but they support other people as well.

“By helping this child, you’re helping the legion, and by helping the legion you’re helping other people,” he said.

‘Miracle Babies’ to be stars at Cooley’s Anemia fashion show

March 14, 2009

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STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — The Staten Island Chapter Cooley’s Anemia Foundation will celebrate its 25th anniversary at its “Miracle Babies” dinner and fashion show at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 1 at the Hilton Garden Inn, Bloomfield. Tickets are $50 each; call Cammie Brandofino at 718-761-5380; for journal ads call Terri DiFilippo at 718-983-6004.

A highlight of the evening’s event will be the introduction of the “miracle babies” — infants born to Cooley’s Anemia patients, something that was not possible even a few years ago.

Cooley’s anemia is the most severe form of the genetic blood disorder, thalassemia. People born with Cooley’s anemia require lifelong blood transfusions every two to four weeks, as well as a lengthy and daily drug treatment.

Vito Picone & The Elegants will provide entertainment for the evening. They are celebrating their own milestone — the 50th anniversary of their signature song, “Little Star.”

Co-chairing the event are Terri Minichello, executive director of the Richmond County Medical Society, and Nancy Bialkowski, a member of the chapter’s executive committee and owner of a custom bridal jewelry business.

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