Basie Center, Bank of America announce July’s beneficiary in ‘The Giving Year’


(RED BANK – July 5, 2023) The Count Basie Center for the Arts and Bank of America (BofA) have announced the seventh of twelve area nonprofits to be recognized during THE GIVING YEAR, the yearlong initiative to recognize and reward organizations for their contributions to the regional community.

Ritesh Shah Charitable Pharmacy ( will receive $1 from every Count Basie Center ticket sold in July, along with event tickets for the organization’s clientele and volunteers.

The Giving Year: Ritesh Shah Charitable PharmacyFounded in Red Bank in 2022, Ritesh Shah Charitable Pharmacy’s mission is to reduce clinical and social health inequities by increasing access to medications, immunizations, health education, and pharmacy services for uninsured and underserved patients. The pharmacy focuses on uninsured families and individuals living at or below 300% of the federal poverty level and offers its clients guidance on area free clinics, as well as counseling on their medications.

“The support and recognition from the Count Basie Center and Bank of America reaffirm the importance of our mission,” said Asha & Ritesh Shah, RPh, Founder/Trustees of the Ritesh Shah Charitable Pharmacy. “This exposure will raise awareness about the critical role of accessible healthcare and inspire others to join us in our mission. Together, we can make a lasting impact on the well-being of our community members and empower them to lead healthier lives.”

“This collaboration will amplify our efforts and enable us to reach even more individuals who require vital medications and healthcare services.”

“The Ritesh Shah Charitable Pharmacy is having a tremendous impact on underserved populations in the Monmouth County community,” said Alberto Garofalo, president, Bank of America New Jersey. “By partnering with the pharmacy, we hope to ensure that they are able to continue to reduce health disparities in our community by offering no-cost, life-saving medications and meaningful health education, while continuing to meet the local demand for these services for years to come.”

“Barriers to access of affordable medicine and quality healthcare are two of America’s great social crises,” said Jeremy Grunin, Chairperson, Count Basie Center for the Arts. “The Ritesh Shah Charitable Pharmacy has provided a much-needed service in our community by not only providing free prescription and over-the-counter medicines, but guidance for its customers on finding additional resources to further their medical care.”

BOFa and Basie Center employees and board members started reviewing applications following announcement of THE GIVING YEAR initiative on Giving Tuesday last November. THE GIVING YEAR will focus on organizations serving causes related to arts and culture, health / wellness, food insecurity, diversity, equity and inclusion, or financial management or other services to underrepresented populations.

Organizations interested in consideration for THE GIVING YEAR may learn more and apply for consideration at Organizations need only apply once – qualifying applications will be considered on a rolling basis throughout 2023.


THE GIVING YEAR will last throughout 2023, with the Count Basie Center for the Arts donating $1 from every ticket sold to one of twelve area nonprofits, with a different organization highlighted each month. Organizations will be eligible to receive up to $15,000 during their month, in addition to complimentary tickets for distribution to their volunteers and / or their beneficiaries.

Upon announcing THE GIVING YEAR last November, Basie Center and Bank of America officers presented the initiative as an opportunity to use the organizations’ platforms to highlight important work and causes throughout their service regions. In January, mental health nonprofit Shore House was announced as the inaugural Giving Year recipient, receiving $15,000 from the Basie Center and its patrons.

“The Count Basie Center is a unique nonprofit organization,” Basie Center Board Chairperson Jeremy Grunin explained. “In addition to our work in arts education, from classrooms in under-resourced communities to professional development opportunities for teachers, we have world-renowned performing artists on our stages almost every evening. We recognize the platform that affords us, and we feel it’s right to use that platform to highlight other organizations attending to vital causes in our region.”

“Bank of America and the Count Basie Center share many causes and concerns, especially the betterment of our communities,” said Bank of America’s Garofalo. “During ‘The Giving Year,’ we’ll use our long-standing partnership and platforms to highlight and reward the efforts of twelve area nonprofit organizations, whose commitments to our region help those who need it the most.”

“Part of our responsibility as a nonprofit organization is to look inwards and say, ‘What more can we do?’” said Adam Philipson, President and CEO, Count Basie Center for the Arts. “And because we have this status as a place where world-class musicians, actors and performers come to play, we also have this opportunity – and responsibility – to lend our visibility to others. Bank of America and the Basie Center want THE GIVING YEAR to become a pedestal for organizations that deserve to have their hard work and purposes known and recognized.”

August’s beneficiary organization will be announced later this month.