December 14, 2004

Photocharity Concert Aids Homeless Teens

Carol AmesFor several weeks now I've known about a show this Thursday, December 16th, at Humphrey's Backstage Lounge that I've been thinking of as just a Carol Ames and Friends Christmas Concert. I knew the names of all the artists scheduled to perform, and I knew it would benefit homeless teens through Photocharity and The Storefront, but I didn't really know much else.

This morning, though, I turned on Joan Rubin and her "Locals Live" show on KKSM 1320-AM. Joan's guests were Carol Ames and a guy named Jeffrey Sitcov, who I learned founded Photocharity, which has raised over $400,000 since 2002 for The Storefront, a Hillcrest-based emergency shelter and outreach program for homeless and runaway kids between the ages of 12 and 17.

I searched Sitcov's name on Google and found several articles about him, including one in the San Diego Jewish Journal that included the following:

Sitcov was forced to retire from his physical therapy practice after a freak work accident that injured his spinal cord. He was smart and purchased disability insurance, so he can live in his oceanfront condo on a modest-for-North County income.

After his accident, he was depressed and didnít know what to do with his life. "I was at a low point in my life for nine months," Sitcov says. "I did a lot of soul-searching and praying."

Sitcov decided to devote his energies to volunteer work. He had spent years taking photographs of rock stars and athletes, which he then sent to their publicists. Over time, he had built good relationships with many of the stars.

When the time came to start a charity, he exploited those connections, asking superstars like Elton John and Bruce Springsteen for signed memorabilia. Hundreds of phone calls and e-mails after taking his first celebrity photo, he signed up Billy Joel as the first megastar to sign memorabilia for Photocharity. Pointing to the photos that adorn his condo's walls, he says, "These pictures are the tools that built this charity."

I'm not certain, but I think I've seen some of Sitcov's photos. There are many great photos of musical stars all over the walls of the Backstage Lounge, and I noticed once that next to one right inside the front door is a little sign that says "Photocharity." If Jeffrey Sitcov did take all the photos at Humphrey's, he's one of my photography idols and I didn't know it until now!

I think this is going to be a great show for a great cause! It will be from 7 p.m. until 1:30 a.m. on this Thursday, December 16, at Humphrey's Backstage Lounge on Shelter Island. The cover charge will be $10 and all proceeds go to The Storefront.

Artists scheduled to appear include Carol Ames, Christopher Dale, Cathryn Beeks Band, 21 Grams, Blue, Tapwater, HM75, Annie Bethancourt, and The Fryday Band. I shot the photo above of Carol Ames during a show she did last month at Humphrey's.

Posted at 2:10 AM in Music