April 21, 2011

Amateur Rock Musicians Raise Money for Charity

An amateur rocker jams at this year's EyeRock concert in New York.

What American hasn't dreamed of being a rock star?

Some charities benefit from that daydream. Among them is OneSight, a Mason, Ohio, charity created by Luxottica, a company that makes eyeglass frames and sunglasses. The charity, which the company supports by paying its overhead costs, provides vision care and eyeglasses to needy people overseas.

For the past four years, OneSight has also received money from an annual rock-and-roll concert featuring amateur musicians from the optical industry.

Last month, the fourth annual EyeRock concert, as it is called, raised $185,000, up from $95,000 in its first year.

The event, held at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York City on the last night of an optical industry convention, featured 36 wanna-be rockers. They played for four hours, until 1 a.m.

The event raises money from corporate sponsors, who pay up to $25,000 to underwrite the event, and ticket sales. This year, 780 people, mostly friends, relatives, and colleagues of the performers, paid $75 apiece to attend.

EyeRock is just one of several other industry efforts in which weekend rockers jam for charity.

Others include an annual Hedge Fund Rocktoberfest, a concert by New York financial-services executives who raise money for children's medical services, and Pharmapalooza, a New York benefit by employees of pharmaceutical companies who say they play "heavy medical" to raise money for Children's Hospital of Montefiore.