Brian Kirk’s ‘Born’ tributes net $23,000+ for Fulfill
(RED BANK – OCTOBER 30, 2019) Brian Kirk and The Jirks, the quintessential ‘Jersey Shore party band, showed up to the Basie Center last month and did what few have done: sold out two, back-to-back shows within a matter of hours.
The occasion? The 70th birthday of The Boss himself, Bruce Springsteen.
The cause? One that’s close to many hearts.
Kirk and his merry band of Jirks raised more than $23,000 during the shows, money he earmarked to be donated to Fulfill, the organization once known as the Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties.
“I’ve been close to (fulfill CEO) Kim Guadagno for years,” says Kirk of his selection of Fulfill as a benefactor from the concerts. “I really respect her and the organization itself…. and it also didn’t hurt that it’s an organization that Bruce has supported in the past.”
Fulfill’s mission is to alleviate hunger and build food security in Monmouth & Ocean Counties and to make sure that all people at all times have access to enough nutritious food to maintain an active and healthy life.
“I think when anyone does well — particularly someone like me, who came from a lower middle class background, it is important to honor the people who helped raise me to where I am,” Kirk continued. “It’s important to pay that back by supporting others who want to make their lives better.”
“The Count Basie Center and Brian Kirk’s team regularly joins forces to raise money for important causes,” said Izzy Sackowitz, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Count Basie Center for the Arts. “For these shows, which paid tribute to ‘The Boss,’ we knew from the get-go that focusing on the battle against hunger was not only important, but appropriate.”
So great philanthropy and important missions aside, how was it for Kirk to jump onstage and perform the music of hometown hero Bruce Springsteen?
Humbling, he says.
“When you go from asking your sister, ‘who’s that poster on your bedroom door — the strange guy with the earring?’, and then later having her introduce me to “Thunder Road” and learning his songs on guitar and playing them for people, it’s quite an honor that I am thankful for.”