Rock, Roll & Recover – A Benefit to Help Rebuild, Restore and Rejuvenate the Shore


Music is the Medicine Foundation is hosting a benefit, Rock, Roll & Recover, to raise funds, collect much-needed donations, and revive the community as we recover from the effects of Hurricane Sandy.

The weeks following the disaster have inflicted intense trauma on our families, especially those who find themselves newly homeless or without power for several days. It is our goal to bring a sense of renewed spirit to the community through the bonding power of entertainment, music, sports, games, and other uplifting activities.

Rock, Roll, & Recover will run from 10 – 4 at Monsignor Donovan High School in Toms River. Many of the MITM board members are MDHS alumni, and owe our dedication to serving others from the St. Joseph’s Parish community in which we were raised.

It’s an event for the whole family and a chance to come together as a community. There will be musical entertainment provided by local bands, game rooms for kids, a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, and much more.

Proceeds from the event will be used to support local fire departments, police officers, utility workers, and other emergency personnel. Additionally, funds raised will be directed to shelters and communities that are still in need – including but not limited to Lavallette Elementary School.

The shore is our home. It has been the stage for our events, the place we gathered with our friends. It’s an irreplaceable area, with a unique atmosphere. We will restore our shore. Help us get there, come out to Rock, Roll and RECOVER!






New Jersey’s favorite non-profit organization, Music Is The Medicine (MITM), is back hosting a benefit concert, “Beet Violence, Grow Peas,” on Saturday, August 4 with a $10 donation to benefit Providence House Domestic Violence Services (PHDVS.) The multi-act benefit concert will be held at Trinity and the Pope, 649 Mattison Avenue, in Asbury Park. The event will begin at 6:00pm with acoustic acts performing downstairs in the restaurant area where guests can relax, enjoy dinner and listen to great music. Come 10:00pm, bands will be performing for the remainder of the evening. Confirmed acts: The Amboys, The Riverwinds, Mad Feather Group, Marshland Plan, Justin& Emily (No Wine For Kittens), Anthony Walker, Midnight Poncho, Frank Lombardi, Chris Brown, Brian Leopold (The Poconos), plus special guests.

While past MITM benefit concerts have raised awareness and funds for a variety of causes, “Beet Violence, Grow Peas” is centered around nutrition as a whole and, more specifically, organic farming and the therapeutic effects it holds.  MITM believes that good nutrition is the ultimate preventative medicine and has therefore pledged to build a sustainable, organic garden at the Providence House shelter.  PHDVS provides comprehensive services for victims of domestic abuse and their children outreach offices and emergency safe houses in Burlington and Ocean Counties.

Music is the Medicine was organized two years ago by brothers Dan, Connor, and Brent Effenberger of the Asbury Park-based band The Amboys. What started in 2009 as a chat in the kitchen between three brothers has grown into a full-fledged non-profit organization. The group’s website is

For over 25 years, Providence House Domestic Violence Services has provided victims of domestic abuse and their children with an array of services such as: emergency shelter, a 24 hour hotline, counseling services, a comprehensive children’s program, a parenting education Program and a program specifically designed to assist victims age 50 and older. These services are offered free of charge and are invaluable to victims and their children who are struggling to break free from the violence in their homes. For additional information about Providence House Domestic Violence Services of Catholic Charities, please call Marcia Fishkin, Community Affairs Coordinator for PHDVS at (732) 350-2120.

For up-to-the-minute information about the “Beet Violence, Grow Peas” please visit


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Non Profit, Music is the Medicine, Back this Summer with a “Homerun” Event!

Toms River, NJ [6/1/2012] – Jersey Shore’s own Music is the Medicine Foundation is pleased to announce that it is back this summer with a “homerun” event! The freshly founded and absurdly innovative non-profit organization will once again host a benefit concert.

Inspired by the passing of Alfred Risicato, MITM is proud to host: Strike Out Diabetes! A Benefit Concert in Support of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Strike Out Diabetes will be held on Saturday, June 23rd, at JR’s Ocean Grill on the Seaside Heights boardwalk. The first pitch will be thrown at 8pm with a $5 donation at the door.
Alfred Joseph Risicato, Jr., 56, of Howell, NJ, passed away on Friday, May 20, 2011. He was born in Brooklyn, NY, and resided there before moving to Howell 30 years ago. His true passion was his family and baseball. He was an avid Yankee fan, a member of the American Softball Association (ASA), a member of the Monmouth Umpire Association where he was an umpire for little leagues and softball leagues, and a former president of Howell Central Little League.
What started as a casual conversation between brothers Dan, Connor, and Brent Effenberger has become the locally-known and nationally-supported nonprofit organization: Music is the Medicine. Debbie and Glen Effenberger raised their three sons in a household that embraced both the healing power of music and the philosophy of “giving back.” Over the years, as the brothers grew and became more and more embedded in the Jersey shore music community, their shared passion for music and charity gave rise to the idea of combining these two ideals.
MITM’s first three events brought in $16,000 collectively, benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project & Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Research Center. Generous donations have also been made to Oceans of Love & Toys for Tots. You can read more about these events and the Foundation’s journey to a legal nonprofit at But above all else, come out to JR’s on June 23rd to hear good music and donate to a great cause.
Popular local bands The Amboys, Accidental Seabirds, Gleasons Drift, and Threats to Chesney will be on hand to help MITM reach their fundraising goal. Funds raised will go to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF.)
The MITM team hopes you can make it on the 23! If you cannot attend tax deductible donations can be made to support Music is the Medicine and crucial research at JDRF can be made via check. Please contact for more information. Be sure to ask about our corporate sponsorship program as well. MITM is happy to publicize all donors upon request.


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Join us June 23rd at JR’s

New Jersey's favorite non- profit group Music Is The Medicine (MITM) is back this summer with Strike Out Diabetes!  Funds raised will go to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The event will be held on Saturday June 23 at JR's Ocean Grill on the Seaside Heights boardwalk in remembrance of Al Risicato, the father of one of MITM's current members. Great local bands including The Amboys, Accidental Seabirds, Gleasons Drift, and Threats To Chesney will be on hand to help MITM reach their goal to both educate and entertain. Kickoff is at 8pm with a $5 donation at the door.

All out rocking concert starts at 10.  So families should come early.

All funds Funds received will go to JDRF to support research for children's diabetes and community outreach programs to educate kids on the disease.

Nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes (8.3 percent of the population)1:
• Diagnosed: 18.8 million
• Undiagnosed: 7 million
• As many as three million Americans may have type 1 diabetes.
• Diabetes currently affects 366 million people worldwide and is expected to affect 552 million by 2030.
• In the U.S., a new case of diabetes is diagnosed every 30 seconds; more than 1.9 million people are diagnosed each year.



Meeting of the Minds- By MaryColleen Norcia 

One of the reasons I enjoy being part of MITM so much is the people I get to work with. While our
meetings come with agendas and start with the Pledge… we aren’t exactly the stereotypical business.
We sit around the living room in our co-founder’s apartment in Point Pleasant, on couches and a hodge-
podge of garage sale chairs. We don’t have a fancy office or a central table to work on. Robert’s Rules
of Orders just don’t apply in our setting. We’ve got laptops and cell phones for doing quick research and
updating Twitter. There’s always chips and salsa. Music is a staple of course, and the funk too . We show
YouTube videos and quote classic movies whenever necessary. We allow ourselves the true freedom
to be creative and feed off the vibe that builds as our discussions begin. One person decides we need
a video promoting our next event, Strike Out Diabetes, and moments later through a serious of absurd
comments and suggestions, we’ve mapped out a kicking story board for what will be one of our best
videos to date. It won’t be “too cute” or “too raw” – perhaps more family friendly than the previous visit
from Chef Cianello, but it will still have our own unique tastes added in. Stay tuned for what will surely
be a must see viral sensation, that only a crew like this can come up with…and remember, there’s no
crying in baseball…


Crew Update

What have the MITM crew been up to the last few months?
When we’re not hosting excellent benefit concerts we are still running all over spreading the love and supporting great causes.  Literally! Besides sending two representatives to run in the NYC Marathon as part of Fred’s Team, MITM members have participated in: The Race for Hope in Philadelphia benefiting the National Brain Tumor Association, The Relay for Life at St. Joseph’s University benefiting the American Cancer Association,  the Polar Bear Plunge in Seaside Heights raising funds for the Special Olympics, Winter Beach Run for the Manasquan First Aid Center, and the Barnabas Health’s 5k at the Blue Claws ball park in Lakewood promoting healthy lifestyles.
We’re not hanging up our running shoes either, upcoming this summer/fall members of our team are participating in a 5K in Barnegat for Autism Awareness, the Color Run in Philadelphia, two Tough Mudders for the Wounded Warriors Project, and a Triathlon in support of research to fight diabetes with Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Contact us if you’d like to join our team at any of these events!

Members Exercise Their Green Thumbs
A few MITM members and fellow supporters gathered together on Saturday April 21st to work alongside Coastal Habitat for Humanity in Asbury Park. It was National Community Day, sponsored by Saint Joseph’s University, and our crew did their part by working on landscaping an entire lot for a newly finished Habitat home. When we arrived on site we saw the beautiful home, but the yard was nothing more than a dirt lot.
By the time we left the entire area was transformed! We got to work with shovels and, under the homeowner’s direction - planted flowers, bushes, and small trees. We layered the garden beds in mulch and framed them in with landscape edging. Next, we laid the sod – “the earth’s carpet” – over the rest of the lot, and gave everything a good soaking. Other members of the neighborhood were in need of mulching and sod – anything extra we had, we shared with them accordingly.
It was a truly excellent day, and we all thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Coastal Habitat  is an excellent organization doing wonderful work throughout Monmouth County, we hope to continue to partner with them in the future!
Additionally, MITM members celebrated Earth Day by giving back to the local community. Members volunteered at Earth Day Celebration held at Monmouth Care Center in Long Branch; and even taught a workshop on composting this past Sunday, April 22nd.

Asbury Rising

Thanks to our buds over at Asbury Rising for the fun times and awesome write-up. We're looking forward to working with them for our summer event. Head over to to check out video, interviews, photos and more of all of your favorite Asbury bands.

The Amboys Bring The Energy to The Trinity & The Pope

April 18, 2012 By 

Local indie band The Amboys recently brought their high energy live performance to Trinity and The Pope in Asbury Park. The group has developed a large following in the area over the past couple of years with their upbeat style and dance-infused live shows. With lead singer/guitarist C.M. Smith you get a Brian Fallon-esque presence on stage. Someone who can control a room with a single glare but still be approachable enough to get a shot of whiskey with. Working the bass and back-up vocals is the always sharply dressed Manny Castanon. Rarely seen without a white button down shirt, bow-tie and thick Clark Kent-like glasses, this fan favorite is known to get lost in the moment and join the passionate dance party that’s become a custom at their shows. Brothers Connor and Daniel Effenberger lend their immense talents on the drums and lead guitar respectively along with offering back-up vocals. The Effenberger’s have used their love and appreciation of music for more than just playing in The Amboys. Along with brother Brent, Connor and Daniel formed the Music Is The Medicinefoundation which raises money for various charities through live music performances. The Amboys are an inspiring group that have used their gifts as musicians to not only entertain, but also to better the community.

On Saturday, April 14th, the A.P. based band played to another raucous crowd and turned the normally quiet venue into their own personal dance party. It was a sweltering, hot sweaty mess of foot stompers and head bobbers…exactly what you would expect from a show featuring these guys. With occasional drink breaks and a round of cheers from the crowd, the local heroes roared through an hour set, forcing everyone to dance or get out of the way. Even with the cool breeze coming in through the open doors and windows, the bank turned eatery and bar that is Trinity and The Pope couldn’t escape the moisture and heat that an Amboys’ show provides. The foursome rocked the foundation of the old building and everyone wanted to be a part of it. Whether you were swinging your hips, tapping your drink or clapping along, everyone slowly just let go and moved to the music. The Amboys remind you that it doesn’t matter if you lost your wallet, just got a parking ticket or went through a break-up, sometimes it’s just easier to dance. is a media journalism website that aims to increase the awareness and support for local musicians, artists, and venues in hopes of raising the overall profile of the artistic community in Asbury Park. is a media journalism website that aims to increase the awareness and support for local musicians, artists, and venues in hopes of raising the overall profile of the artistic community in Asbury Park. is a media journalism website that aims to increase the awareness and support for local musicians, artists, and venues in hopes of raising the overall profile of the artistic community in Asbury Park.

nj nonprofit

Nonprofit Music is the Medicine Kicks Off Third Year With “Bake Sale”


The Jersey Shore’s most creative and fun-loving nonprofit, the Music is the Medicine (MITM)
Foundation, will kick off its 2012 fundraising with a “Bake Sale” on March 30th at the Press
Room at 610 Bangs Ave, Asbury Park, 07712. The Amboys will be playing with Secret County
and Mad Feather Group.

Ok, so there won’t be any home-baked goods sold at this Bake Sale. But in a nod to this time
honored method of fundraising, there will be people in chef’s hats. You can always count on
MITM to think outside box!

The “Bake Sale” is a precursor to MITM’s third annual summer concert event, which will raise
awareness about nutrition as a preventative medicine and ultimately donate funds to a farming
education program. The venue and date for this summer event are still to be determined, so
stand by for details.

Haven’t heard of us? Music is the Medicine (MITM) is a non-profit organization committed
to spreading awareness about serious diseases and social ills and raising funds towards their
eradication; unique events centered on music are designed to both educate and entertain towards
this cause. The Foundation is comprised of highly motivated and socially aware individuals
dedicated to making a difference in the world one cause at a time.

MITM’s first two benefit concerts raised $3,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project in 2010 and
$12,500 for cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering in 2011. Read more about these events
and the Foundation’s journey to a legal nonprofit at (insert new website). But above all else,
come out to the Press Room in Asbury Park on March 30th to hear some great music and donate
to a good cause.


2011: Do It For Johnny

Local Non-Profit, Music Is The Medicine, Readies Next Event, Does It “For Johnny”

Posted on June 22, 2011 by Chris Rotolo, Senior Staff Writer

Click here to see  the original post

by Chris Rotolo, Senior Staff Writer

After receiving word that his brother’s long-time friend and college roommate, James “JD” Wilson (cofounder of the local non-profit organization Music Is The Medicine [MITM]) was going to enlist in the Air Force, Connor Effenberger, drummer of the Asbury Folk-Rock outfit The Amboys, got a sinking feeling in his stomach.

“I feared for the worst,” explained Effenberger, “which at the time I thought was death.  However, after researching the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD] and the mental turmoil it can put someone through,” he continued “I, personally, would prefer to die.”

As a response to the horrid ailment that is PTSD, Effenberger and his brothers, Brent and Dan (the latter is also a member of The Amboys), officially launched MITM in 2010 with its first event in September of that year, “Music Is The Medecine: A Benefit To Fight PTSD.”

“After a few years of planning on doing something to support the cause,” explained Effenberger, “my brothers and I had our Wayne’s World 2 moment and decided to put on a concert.”

It was a success.

This year MITM is at it again with a July 15th musical fundraising event hosted by The Beachcomber Bar & Grille in Seaside Heights, entitled “Do It For Johnny,” in support of the Sloan & Kettering Memorial Hospital and Cancer Center in New York City, the site at which Johnny Hoffman, a good friend of the Effenberger family, received treatment before passing away in the fall after a hard fought battle with brain cancer.


“I remember when Dan came home from the wake, I could read his mind, as if he was saying ‘We’re doing it for Johnny!’” explained Effenberger.

“As far as I can remember,” he continued “there wasn’t even a formal discussion about this year’s event, it just came natural to all of us to do a benefit for Sloan and Kettering.”
Photo by Chris Rotolo (The Amboys @ Asbury Lanes)

The Amboys stick wielder went on to say that all of the proceeds MITM receives this year will go directly to the New York City based hospital in order to further their cancer research.

“We tossed around the idea of possibly giving the money directly to a family to help support the weight of their medical bills,” said Effenberger, “but we’d rather invest in getting rid of cancer altogether.”

The lineup for this year’s event has been set…and it’s stacked, including such local favorites as Mad Feather GroupBen Franklin (Brooklyn), Elevator Art, Secret CountryThreats To Chesney, and of course, The Amboys, as well as the Baltimore, MD-based The Oldliners, and as mentioned prior, the show will return to The Beachcomber.

“The Beachcomber is one of the few blue collar refuges in Seaside Heights that actually has the balls to put on a show with original rock bands,” expressed Effenberger of MITM’s choice of venue.  “They were extremely supportive of our benefit last year and we’re excited to have it booked for a second.”

As well as venturing down the Shore to The Beachcomber on the 15th, you can show your support for Music Is The Medecine’s “Do It For Johnny” by taking part in the organization’s “Thumb Drive,” which entails, quite simply, taking a photograph of yourself giving a thumbs up and e-mailing the photo  Prizes for the most creative photographs will be awarded at the event…for more information on the event and the “Thumb Drive” click here. 

NOTE: It should be written that this will be the last area show for The Amboys until August when the band will hold a release party for its forthcoming EP.