Give to Live: Song for Donate Life Month Honors Local Hero's Legacy

Joe Acocella, the late town clerk of Harrison, N.Y., who passed away in 2011 at the age of 30 while awaiting a kidney transplant, was an inspiration to everyone he encountered. A double amputee, he never let the obstacles he faced affect his accomplishments, which included becoming the youngest member elected to the Harrison Board of Education and the youngest town clerk in New York state history.

Since his tireless work spanned many initiatives at a breakneck speed, it's a Herculean task to encapsulate Joey's short life. Many journalists and friends have done so in prose, and I was asked by the Acocella family to do so in song (listen to the song here), as a way to both honor his legacy and raise awareness for Donate Life, the organ donor registry initiative (and one of his near-and-dear causes). Joey was the recipient of a kidney transplant at age 18; ten years later, he found himself in need of another transplant to sustain his life.

Your future hangs on a wish You're a name on a list. You deserve another chance, You deserve more than this ...

THE WRITING PROCESS Already a registered organ donor, I was honored to also donate a song, which will be unveiled in a video about Joey's life at the Give to Live Fundraiser on April 26, scheduled to be an annual event to raise money for Donate Life and Joey's other beloved charities, such as animal rescue shelters and support for our troops.

For the song, I collaborated with NYC singer-songwriter Brenda Rudzinski. Together, we delved into the stories of those seeking a second chance at life from those who donate living organs and those who register to give organ, eye and tissue donations when they pass on. The research moved us deeply. We decided to focus on the importance of spreading the word, whether sharing it publicly or sharing with friends and family in a quiet way. Each helps the cause. You can listen to the song here.

Brenda also lent her beautiful voice to the tune, which was recorded by producer Adam Harley at Gnome Music Studio in Larchmont, N.Y. The gorgeous guitar parts were played by Justin Gild. My husband, Thomas Fisher, also contributed to the song's arrangement. This truly was a group effort.

The song was premiered on "Harrison Live" on WVOX on April 19, by Dennis Nardone and his co-host Tonny Guido. We are thrilled to honor Joey's incredible life as well as spread the word about a need that affects so many throughout the world. We hope that the song moves enough people to get those registry numbers up! Kleenex in hand, we look forward to seeing the song paired with the video at the fundraiser.

For more info on organ donation, visit the Donate Life site. To donate to Joey's charities, email joeysfoundation@gmail.com.

Hear the song and read the lyrics on SoundCloud.

And feel free to comment below. Joey was all about making the most noise, so let's help make some noise and carry on his good work!

Spread the word,

Carla

Shout it from the rooftops Make the message heard If you believe in second chances, Share life with the world. It only takes one person at a time who wants to give. Help spread the word and Give to Live ...

Harrison Adorned: Don We Now Our Local Pride!

Harrison is decorated for the holidays! Thanks to a combined effort between the Harrison Chamber of Commerce and the Town Board (as well as the printers at Signs Plus), 16 banners displaying the names of town merchants remind holiday shoppers to think local when gift-giving and dining this season.

The holiday-red banners are displayed at each cross street along Halstead Avenue, starting at the A&P and stretching to Food City.

Participating merchants are listed below. Additional sponsors include the Harrison Chamber of Commerce Executive Board; Dennis Nardone, host of the "Harrison Live" and "Remember Then" radio shows on WVOX; Councilwoman Marlane Amelio; Retired Police Chief Dave Hall and his wife, Ann; The Harrison Players Community Theater Group; the Harrison Council for the Arts; "Harrison Live" co-host Tonny Guido and her husband, Carm; and The Harrison Report.

Participating Merchants Amici's Italian Deli 914-381-8383 Bertha’s European Spa 914-835-3512 Casa D' Italia 914-835-6370 Fraioli & Quigley Moving Co., Inc. 914-835-1200 Harrison Flower Mart 914-835-4753 Harrison Funeral Home 914-835-0284 Harrison Printers 914-835-3249 Jay's Car Service 914-835-4217 Masterpiece the Art of Framing 914-835-6686 New York Dance 914-835-5252 Park Plumbing & Heating 914-835-1483 Pistachio Grille 914-630-4440 Powell's Clam Bar 914-381-4843 Quizno's 914-777-7827 ReAldo’s Pizza & Pasta 914-835-5280 Skinner Bonds 914-468-0803 Station Cleaners 914-835-0289 Sue's Hair Salon 914-835-3580 That’s Entertainment 914-381-7150 Trattoria Vivolo 914-835-6199 Trotta’s West St. Pharmacy 914-835-1125 Uncle Henry's Sports Bar & Restaurant 914-835-0804

Everyone at the Chamber of Commerce, including myself, President Ada Angarano and Financial Advisor Zack Bsharat, wishes you a season of joy and love, filled with good food, family and cheer.

Season's Greetings,

Carla

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