Atlanta, GA, September 15, 2011 --(PR.com
)-- On the heels of a highly successful charity golf tournament last month, friends and family of ALS patient and former PGA professional, John David Keith make ready to raise the curtain on JD Palooza – a benefit concert. Hosted on Sunday, September 25 at 8 p.m. at Smith’s Olde Bar in Atlanta, JD Palooza will feature popular local headliners Family Truckster, Kahle Davis and the Nightwatchmen, and JT Black. Representing far more than simply a concert at one of the city’s hottest venues, the story behind JD Palooza holds very special meaning to many in the Atlanta area.
In 2008, John David Keith – the “JD” in JD Palooza – was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a progressive and degenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal column. More commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, as the illness progresses the brain’s ability to initiate and control muscle function eventually deteriorates to the point of complete paralysis. Sadly, there is no known cure. In the span of just three years since his diagnosis, John David has had to trade the athletic physique and successful career of a golf instructor for a painfully skeletal frame and dramatically shortened life span bound to a wheelchair. The former North Springs High School football player can no longer stand on his own, is unable to speak, and struggles to breathe without the aid of a machine. As his condition worsens, the cost of his healthcare mounts. John David’s mother and primary caregiver, Renée – a widow and single mom since the death of her husband when John David was just two – is no longer able to carry the financial burden alone. Family members along with the congregation of First Baptist Church in Cumming have stepped in to do what they can by cutting the lawn at the Keith’s North Georgia home, purchasing much-needed medical supplies, acting as temporary care givers, providing meals, and more. Despite their best efforts, the bills for doctor’s visits, medications, and care givers continue to rise.
Upon learning of John David’s battle with ALS and the enormity of Renée’s financial struggles, friends of the family have been gathering their resources to see what they can do to help. A Facebook page was recently launched announcing the establishment of the John David Keith Medical Relief Fund, and the hits and number of fans increase on a daily basis. On August 29 – the day of John’s 44th Birthday – a Charity Golf Tournament was held at his former place of employ, Polo Golf & Country Club in Cumming. Old high school buddies, friends of the family, and beloved members of John David’s family gathered together to celebrate this momentous occasion. Thanks to a generous donation of services from Advanced Ambulance Service, Inc. – John David was able to attend the event, reunite with friends he hadn’t seen in years, and hear loved ones serenade him with a heartfelt rendition of “Happy Birthday to You.” More than $12,000 was raised as a result of the Tournament.
Kahle Davis, a good friend and former North Springs High School classmate of John David, began making arrangements for a benefit concert to raise even more money for the John David Keith Medical Relief Fund. The professional musician, promoter, and frontman for Kahle Davis and the Nightwatchmen appealed to other local bands to join him onstage at Smith’s Olde Bar to pay tribute to their old friend. Family Truckster and JT Black – all former North Springs alumni – didn’t hesitate to donate their time and talents to the cause by signing on to be a part of JD Palooza. As word spread, other friends committed to play equally important roles in the evening’s events. Local artist Leigh Blackistone of Carter House Gallery will donate an original painting and winemaker Trey Busch of Sleight of Hands Cellars will donate bottles of wine for raffle. In addition to raising funds for a very important cause, the benefit concert will serve as a musical celebration of a much loved member of the Atlanta community.
JD Palooza will take place in the Atlanta Room of Smith’s Olde Bar – located at 1578 Piedmont Avenue. Tickets are just $20 per person, and all proceeds will benefit the John David Keith Medical Relief Fund. Those wishing to show their support through monetary contributions are asked to make checks payable to the John David Keith Medical Relief Fund. Donations can be dropped off at any RBC Bank location in the Atlanta area or mailed to:
The John David Keith Medical Relief Fund
c/o Harmony Kiser
6230 Lenbrook Court
Cumming, GA 30040
Secure online donations can also be made through the Fund’s ChipIn page at http://johndavidkeithmedicalrelieffund.chipin.com/john-david-keith-medical-relief-fund. To learn more about JD Palooza and future events, visit www.facebook.com/johndavidkeith.
For more information about ALS, visit The ALS Association online at www.alsa.org.