The popular Ocean County-based non-profit, Music is the Medicine Foundation, is back with their latest fundraising effort, which was derived during the darkest days of Sandy.

Music is the Medicine Foundation (Facebook)

Foundation members JD Wilson and Nick Norcia, who are roommates, found themselves like so many others without electricity for 10 days after the storm ripped through the Jersey coast. The two came up with a productive way to pass the time.

"We just kind of started spit-balling and throwing different ideas around about what we could do if we were to actually write a play," Wilson said.

And they just did that, penning a play called 'Pl@y.'

Music is the Medicine has hosted a slew of charitable events since they formed in 2010, with music at the heart of the initiatives, which have benefited many charities around the area. Wilson said, though, they had never tackled a play, so he and Norcia wondered if it they could pull it off.

"We originally didn't think it would really come to fruition, but luckily with the people we involved in it, the support's been tremendous," he said.

Some of those people include:

  • Alison Haugh, Director
  • Sarah McCuiston, Choreographer and owner of Lets Dance Studios
  • -Dan and Connor Effenberger- Music is the Medicine Co-founders and band members of the The Amboys, who are providing soundtrack for PL@Y
  • Mary Norcia- Music is the Medicine Foundation EVERYTHING - she does it all
PL@Y (

Wilson said the idea of Pl@y is a sort of Alice in Wonderland for the 21st century, with local talent and music as the centerpiece. He describes it as a 'TheateRockShopus.'

"It deals with the current over-obsession that we all have with our technology devices," Wilson explained.

Pl@y will run for two nights, Friday, November 29th and Saturday, November 30th, at the Algonquin Arts Theater in Manasquan. Both shows are at 7 p.m. All proceeds will benefit the Ashley Lauren Foundation, which provides hope and help to New Jersey children with cancer by supporting the affected families.

"This foundation, it's amazing what they do on a daily basis," he said.

Full event details and ticket information can be found by visiting the Music is the Medicine Foundation website and their Facebook page.

"Our goal is really hopefully just to open up some eyes in regards to the theme of our play, and let everybody take a big, deep breath and say, 'Yeah, life is pretty good.'"


15th Annual Motorcycle Toy Run

An estimated 1,000 motorcyclists hit the road on Sunday to deliver toys to the Bristol-Myers Squibb Children's Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.  The delivery is part of the annual "Toy Run," now in its 15th year. Members of The Liberty H.O.G. (Harley Owners Group) Chapter of Rahway made their way to the hospital escorted by Santa and Mrs. Claus.

New Jersey Hope and Healing

New Jersey Hope and Healing is a free helpline for people who need emotional support to deal with the impact of recent storms and flooding. The helpline is sponsored by the New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Disaster and Terrorism Branch, through a FEMA grant, in partnership with the Mental Health Association in New Jersey.  The number is 877-294-HELP.  To learn more, visit their website.