03/29/12

Jeff Golub Online Medical Auction Raises $50k +

Musicians align to aid vision-impaired guitarist

“Help 4 Jeff Golub," the online auction to alleviate the medical expenses associated with the guitarist’s recent loss of sight, raised more than $50,000 as it drew to a close at the end of February, when a sudden donation of eight autographed rhythm charts from pianist and composer Joe Sample’s personal collection brought it back to buzzing.

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“For a fan of Joe Sample and the Crusaders, this would be like gold,” said Michelle Wong, the founder and organizer of the online auction.

The charts featured include “A Search for Soul,” “Cannery Row,” “Ego Mania Mambo,” “Free As the Wind,” “Rainbow Seeker,” “Fly With Wings of Love,” “Ballad for Joe” and “Voices In the Rain,” each valued at $1,500.

Sample expressed concern for Golub as early as November, said Wong, but due to his busy tour schedule at the time, it wasn’t until February that his contribution arrived. His wife had sent Wong a package containing the charts now available for auction. “When I got these in the mail I said, ‘What is this? There has to be some history behind this.’”

The charts are the originals Sample used while performing and recording and they’re annotated. “He has filed away music from every single person he’d ever recorded with and every musician he’d ever played with over the years,” said Wong. “He wanted to have it all how it was back then.” But in order to help Golub he signed and donated them to the auction.

Initially, Golub didn’t even know about the auction, until more and more artists came into the picture to offer their help, said Wong. Bruce Springsteen, Carrie Underwood, Coldplay, James Taylor, Jewel, Jimmie Vaughan, Lady Antebellum, Sarah McLachlan, the Bacon Brothers, Dr. Phil, Conan O’Brien—the list of artists and celebrities who donated items ranging from autographed CDs and t-shirts to tickets goes on for pages.

A private concert with Peter White and Euge Groove sold for $10,000. A two-person cabin for one week on the Smooth Jazz Cruise 2012 went for $6,001. And an autographed limited edition Yamaha Custom EX Alto saxophone signed by Dave Koz, Minidi Abair, Kirk Whalum, Boney James, Richard Elliot, Gerald Albright, Warren Hill, Eric Marienthal and Michael Lington brought in $5,200. “It all started because everyone was overcome with such grief,” Wong said.

Wong decided to organize the auction after donating everything she could personally afford. But it wasn’t enough. So she contacted Golub’s agent and learned that Jim “Fitz” Fitzgerald of Wendy Jayne Productions, Inc., was putting together a benefit concert, which took place in September. Wong had a table and flyers at the event and used it to spread the word about the auction, but still struggled to get it off the ground. That’s when Conrad Korsch of Rod Stewart’s band put her in touch with Mary Beth McDonough, the founder of MB Charity Fundraising who brought the big names in. “I never had an inkling it would get so huge,” said Wong. “I call her my angel.”

After almost seven months of fundraising, the costs Golub incurred due to tests have been covered and the remaining funds will help finance any future efforts for a cure.

“He’s pretty much just speechless, touched by the generosity of his colleagues and fans that they’d be willing to help,” said Wong.

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