Former "Jersey Boy" Unites Area Talent for NF Hope Benefit on March 29th
Author: Ann Fink, Carol Fox and Associates
Published On: 02/25/2020
Naperville's Wentz Concert Hall is the site for the third annual NF Hope Concert Sunday, March 29 at 2 p.m. Benefit organizer Jeff Leibow, who originated the role of Nick Massi in "Jersey Boys" in Las Vegas, will bring together talent from across the Chicago area to raise funds and awareness for the Neurofibromatosis Network, a Chicago area non-profit dedicated to families and individuals suffering from Neurofibromatosis (NF). The 2020 NF Hope Concert in Chicago is sponsored in part by SpringWorks Therapeutics and Tito's Handmade Vodka. Tickets are available for purchase at www.nfhope.org.
"I'm very excited about our new venue. It has inspired me to add a touch of Vegas to our standard intimate cabaret format," says Jeff Leibow, Director of Development for NF Hope® Concerts and Board of Directors member of the Neurofibromatosis Network, who will also be hosting the event. "I'm also thrilled not only to share the stage with such a talented and generous roster of performers at this year's event, but also to expose them and the audience to the NF families who inspire me every year."
The concert will feature performances by:
- The Four C Notes, the incredible Chicago-based Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons tribute created by John Michael Coppola, best known for his appearance in Chicago's long-running production of the Broadway smash hit "Jersey Boys;"
- Jessy Schram, former star of ABC's "Nashville," a familiar face on Holiday Hallmark TV projects, and currently featured as Dr. Hannah Asher in NBC's "Chicago Med;"
- Morgen Hare, a dynamic, professionally trained vocalist based out of Chicago and the lead singer of the award-wining cover band Final Say;
- Jay Hale, a talented singer based in Iron Mountain, MI and living with Neurofibromatosis 1;
- Tonacity and No Control, North Central College's own all-female and all-male a cappella groups.
Performances will be supported by a 4-piece musical combo featuring Greg Baroni (bass), Kraig McCreary (guitar), John McCreary (drums), and a pianist to be announced.
In addition to an unforgettable afternoon of music, the NF Hope Concert will honor:
- Dr. David Gutmann, MD, PhD, FAAN, with the 2020 Advocate of Hope Award for having made a significant difference in the lives of those living with Neurofibromatosis. Gutmann is director of the Washington University Neurofibromatosis Center, one of the world's largest basic and clinical science research programs focused on accelerating the pace of scientific discovery and its application to individuals affected with NF;
- Matt Hay, of Indianapolis, IN, with the Paul Bodner Memorial Award for having taken the challenge NF presents and used it to inspire those around them. Hay's personal diagnosis with NF2 led him to his "dream job" with Redux, where he developed a patented drying process for personal electronic devices, hearables and hearing instruments. He also educates the audiology community on the newest technologies for hearing instrument care.
The benefit will also feature a lavish silent auction of items including vacation packages, passes to Lollapalooza, tickets to Chicago's top theaters, restaurant packages and much more.
Neurofibromatosis (NF) is a genetic disorder of the nervous system characterized by tumors that can grow on any nerve in the body without warning. Leibow's young daughter, Emma, was diagnosed with this condition in 2010 when she was just nine months old. As Leibow and his wife, Melody, learned more about the disorder's devastating effects, they conceived the idea for the concert with the realization that they had an obligation to both their family and the 128,000 people living with NF to educate others about the disorder. Although NF is a common genetic disorder, most people are not aware that one in 2,500 people are born with it making it more common than cystic fibrosis, hereditary muscular dystrophy, Huntington's Disease and Tay Sachs combined.
Chicago's third annual NF Hope Concert comes to North Central College's Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville, Ill. 2 p.m., Sunday, March 29. General Admission tickets are $49; VIP tickets are $79 and include a meet & greet with the cast and prime seating. Tickets can be purchased online at the NF Hope Concert website.