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The Michael Bolton Charities Raises $277,000 to Support Music Therapy Program for Youth Impacted by Acute Trauma, Violence

The Chords of Hope RWQuarantunes Event Featured Impressive Line-up of Singers, Songwriters Performing, Recalling Collaboration & Career Milestones

The Michael Bolton Charities raised $277,000 during the organization’s Chords of Hope virtual event on December 12, 2020, to support its music therapy program for at-risk youth.  The interactive event featured an extraordinary line-up of Hall of Fame and multi-award-winning recording artists and songwriters, talented emerging artists, and notable entertainment industry veterans.

The Michael Bolton Charities has been dedicated to assisting children and women at risk from domestic abuse and violence, since its founding 27 years ago. The organization’s efforts have been characterized by Michael Bolton’s active involvement and commitment, including Congressional testimony advocating for the Violence Against Women Act.

The engaging and entertaining virtual event, with more than 400 people in attendance and contributing to support The MBC’s music therapy program, was emceed by Richard and Demi Weitz’ RWQuarantunes, and included congratulatory remarks by Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont and New London, CT Mayor Michael Passero, saluting Connecticut’s own Michael Bolton and the work of The MBC.

In addition to multiple songs performed by Michael Bolton, artists, songwriters and industry leaders performing or appearing during the evening included Walter Afanasieff, Rick Astley, Desmond Child, Deon Cole, Sophia Dion, David & Kat Foster, Kenny G, Jimmy Jam, Justin Jesso, Holly Knight, Dave Mason, Richard Marx, Johnny Mathis, Brian McKnight, Noah Reid, Aniya Simmons, Swedish Jam Factory, Diane Warren, and David Zippel.

“I was truly touched by the outpouring of support for our work, from long-time friends to more recent friends to people who stepped up to join us for the first-time,” said Michael Bolton.  “Because of the generosity of so many dedicated individuals, we are harnessing the healing power of music to help resilient young people gain the confidence necessary to overcome acute trauma that has impacted their lives.  These months of isolation at home and away from school has heightened the risk for these vulnerable children.  My thanks to Richard and Demi Weitz, and everyone who came together to make the evening a memorable success, so we can reach more young people here in Connecticut and all across the country.”

The President of the Board of The Michael Bolton Charities, Eva Bunnell, highlighted the work of The MBC during brief remarks that underscored the impact of the music therapy program on at-risk youth facing acute trauma.  As millions of people stay home during COVID-19, advocates for domestic violence survivors report an alarming increase in the number of people in need of help, including children. With schools closed or operating on reduced schedules, they are spending more time at home - and their home, which should be a safe haven, too often is not.

Title Sponsors of The Michael Bolton Charities Chords of Hope virtual event were The Koplik Family, Iris & Michael Smith, Jâlé & Warren Trepp and Igor Tulchinsky/WorldQuant.  Event Sponsors included BMI, Chuck & Eva Bunnell, Barbara Cane, Dawn Knief Compass, Digital Check Corp./Tom Anderson, Dominion Energy Foundation, Endicott College, Facebook, Tommy & Donna Febbraio, Herman & Elle Gans, Gibson Gives, GO Charity, LAZ Parking, Sabrina & Jahn Levin, Mohegan Tribe, Mike O’Neill, Andrew Sabin Family Foundation, Sandler & Mara PC, Samriti & Scott Seltzer, Gail Sitomer, Webster Bank, Westport Lifestyle, Linda & Larry Weiss, and Robyn & Andrew Whittingham.

The Michael Bolton Charities Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Rita Smith, a nationally recognized expert and among the nation’s leading voices in domestic violence prevention. 

The Beyond Trauma: Youth Music Therapy program developed by The Michael Bolton Charities, and its Andie Koplik Residency, provide structured music therapy sessions and access to instruments, with a profound influence on the social, emotional, and academic well-being of even the most traumatized students.  The Residency was named in memory of a dedicated educator and wife of Jim Koplik, Regional President - Live Nation, a longtime friend who participated in the Chords of Hope event.