Everyday is #GivingTuesday at rock CAN roll

Rocking Out with Anti-Poverty Activism
Posted on 11/17/15 by Stacey Kratz, AARP New York
Aimee Holtzman Hits the Right Chord


Glance quickly at Aimee Holtzman’s mounting press clips, or scroll through her Facebook page, and you might think this Jericho, Long Island mom has spent the past six years waiting by the back stage door. Here’s Aimee beaming with Graham Nash. And there’s David Crosby. That’s her, all smiles with Bret Michaels. Wait, it’s Sarah Bareilles and Aimee laughing like they’re gal pals. And isn’t that Devon Allman? Or Aimee and Lilly, as in Tomlin.

But this music-loving dynamo is no post-50-year-old groupie. In fact she is the rock star, of sorts. Members of iconic bands are lining up to show support for her can-do charitable mission, Rock Can Roll, that has turned popular concerts into a way to end hunger. RCR enjoins the audience to show up with healthy, non-perishable canned goods and needed funds for food pantries and other agencies.

Aimee is a front of the house tour-de-force and upfront personality who has harnessed the quintessential make the world better with and peace, love and understanding messages of rock and roll. And she’s transported those ideals from dreamy well-meaning lyrics, into purposeful action. “When people donate they feel good about themselves too,” she points out. “Everyone CAN do something.”

Aimee and her team of volunteers have brought Rock Can Roll to an audience that cares and that lives the group’s credo: “Help Out While You Rock Out.” In AARP members she sees the potential of a vast and ready audience of inspired volunteers who grew up with rock and roll, believe in helping others and love the motivation of a good cause.

What began at Long Island’s NYCB Westbury with concerts and grew to include headliners like Train, the Goo Goo Dolls, Maroon 5, Jackson Browne and now Joe Walsh, today also extends to many events at local schools and small concert venues. Rock Can Roll has gathered participating sites from Boston to Los Angeles. Donations directly address local needs. “There is always someone hungry within five miles of any concert,” Holtzman notes.

She rattles off rock and roll refrains that appeal to our best selves like “We can Change the World” or “Feed the People.” “That was the playlist of my life,” she says. She describes herself as a lifelong volunteer and part of generation in deeply moved by rock music. As a young parent who moved around the country far from familial roots, Holtzman recalls, “Community service was the safest place for me. It’s where I could feel I belong.” A doer, a giver and a never-takes-no-for-an-answer real life action figure, Holtzman sees every day as a new opportunity to reach the goal of eradicating hunger. Her message is often simple. When her work puts her face to face with big name rockers for those photo ops, she says, “All I can say when I meet them is thank you, thank you.”

But when it comes to the general public, Holtzman’s casual conversations, infused with her special dose of personal enthusiasm, can get big results. “I’ve figured out a way to talk to anybody,” she says. Holtzman attracted ongoing donations from a large food company, almost inadvertently, when she agreed to a one-time pick up of unused trade show items that turned out to be giant palettes of packaged food. “We were talking briefly before the concert,” she recalls. “It happened just like that.”

A natural fundraiser, Holtzman is eyeing the next step, scaling the organization so fighting hunger does not have to be a hand-to-mouth effort. “I want a sugar daddy”, she admits, describing the need for a major underwriter to take the philanthropy to another level. Optimism sets her rhythm as she repeats her mantra: “Everyone loves rock and roll, and everyone CAN make a difference.”

Every Day is GIVING TUESDAY … Please Join Us! Donate Now!

Written by: Joan Lebow is a writer who especially likes to ask all kinds of people questions about where they’ve been and where they’re headed. She’s been a reporter for the Wall Street Journal and Crain’s NY Business, and worked as a communications strategist and spokesperson for New York City and New York State, Mount Sinai Hospital, Atlantic Health System and Wireless Generation.

Posted in rockCANroll Blog | Comments Off on Everyday is #GivingTuesday at rock CAN roll

Zebra, FlashbackLI, Joe Rock and The Allstars, WBAB Come together for rock CAN roll!

Join us on November 25,Thanksgiving Eve, at the Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts for the Zebra (band) 40th Anniversary Show.
Celebrate with D’Angelico Guitars rock CAN roll , Flashback , Joe Rock and The Allstars & 102.3 WBAB to put together a night of great music for a great cause.

Show starts at 7:30pm
To Purchase tickets Click HERE!
More info at: PatchogueTheatre.org

REMEMBER: You CAN Help Out While You Rock Out! Bring HEALTHY nonperishables for people or PETS! A list of most needed foods CAN be found HERE!

Enter a raffle to win a generously donated Acoustic Guitar from D’Angelico , autographed by the Zebra and more!

Can’t make it to the show? You CAN still donate now!



Posted in rockCANroll Blog | Comments Off on Zebra, FlashbackLI, Joe Rock and The Allstars, WBAB Come together for rock CAN roll!

You CAN Help Out While You Rock Out! With Tommy James!

Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 1.04.49 PM

Posted in rockCANroll Blog | Comments Off on You CAN Help Out While You Rock Out! With Tommy James!

rock CAN roll Nation!

A couple of weeks ago rCr was set up at the beautifully renovated Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, with our rCr brothers & friends Crosby, Stills and Nash. There are no words to thank the band (and their marvelous team), the venue, LiveNation, our amazing volunteers and the incredible rCr fans who continually show up with HEALTHY nonperishables and/or money to share.

Our ‘goal’ for May – September 2015 was to collect 10,000 NUTRITIOUS nonperishable food items for our neighbours in need.
At the CSN show, I met a gentleman “Jay” who was in town from California. He loves CSN and missed them in LA. He was thrilled that he happened across and ad that they were playing while he was in town.
Jay & I spoke for approximately 90 seconds about rCr and the work we do. He asked me if we could pick up a pallet of food the next day from an event he was running in the city. Mind you, we met at 8pm on a Saturday night. During the show magic was happening both in the audience and on stage! Our rCr partner at the Bowery Mission and I were making arrangements for pick up via texts! At 11a on Sunday morning … 9600 containers of Yogurt were delivered to the agency!

The amazing thing, is that Jay said he does these events in different cities every weekend throughout the summer and there is usually food and snacks left over. He’d be happy to work with us to arrange pick ups!

The next weekend, 27,000 items were delivered in Cleveland to our rCr partners at The Open Door Kitchen!
In Omaha last weekend, unfortunately, there was no product left.
This weekend in Dallas … we will see!

And just when we thought we could do this all summer…I was told they go into a College Football Tour, that runs events into December!

All from a 90 second conversation with a guy from California who LOVES Crosby Stills and Nash!

Thoughts? Email Info@rockCANroll.org

Pinch me!

Posted in rockCANroll Blog | Comments Off on rock CAN roll Nation!

What is rock CAN roll? Why you should care?

Hunger and Poverty are tough issues that most people prefer to ignore. rock CAN roll is changing that. We collaborate with rock concerts and events collecting HEALTHY nonperishables for people & PETS!

When I see articles like this about real unemployment numbers called “The Big Lie: 5.6% Unemployment” …it reminds me that there is still critical work to be done. I believe if unemployment numbers are skewed so are the numbers of people turning to emergency food agencies for food (for themselves, families and PETS) and basic necessities.
What do you think?
Share you thoughts at info@rockCANroll.org. We’d like to know.

by Jim Clifton, Chairman and CEO at Gallup.

Here’s something that many Americans — including some of the smartest and most educated among us — don’t know: The official unemployment rate, as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor, is extremely misleading.

Right now, we’re hearing much celebrating from the media, the White House and Wall Street about how unemployment is “down” to 5.6%. The cheerleading for this number is deafening. The media loves a comeback story, the White House wants to score political points and Wall Street would like you to stay in the market.

None of them will tell you this: If you, a family member or anyone is unemployed and has subsequently given up on finding a job — if you are so hopelessly out of work that you’ve stopped looking over the past four weeks — the Department of Labor doesn’t count you as unemployed. That’s right. While you are as unemployed as one can possibly be, and tragically may never find work again, you are not counted in the figure we see relentlessly in the news — currently 5.6%. Right now, as many as 30 million Americans are either out of work or severely underemployed. Trust me, the vast majority of them aren’t throwing parties to toast “falling” unemployment.

There’s another reason why the official rate is misleading. Say you’re an out-of-work engineer or healthcare worker or construction worker or retail manager: If you perform a minimum of one hour of work in a week and are paid at least $20 — maybe someone pays you to mow their lawn — you’re not officially counted as unemployed in the much-reported 5.6%. Few Americans know this.

Yet another figure of importance that doesn’t get much press: those working part time but wanting full-time work. If you have a degree in chemistry or math and are working 10 hours part time because it is all you can find — in other words, you are severely underemployed — the government doesn’t count you in the 5.6%. Few Americans know this.

There’s no other way to say this. The official unemployment rate, which cruelly overlooks the suffering of the long-term and often permanently unemployed as well as the depressingly underemployed, amounts to a Big Lie.

And it’s a lie that has consequences, because the great American dream is to have a good job, and in recent years, America has failed to deliver that dream more than it has at any time in recent memory. A good job is an individual’s primary identity, their very self-worth, their dignity — it establishes the relationship they have with their friends, community and country. When we fail to deliver a good job that fits a citizen’s talents, training and experience, we are failing the great American dream.

Gallup defines a good job as 30+ hours per week for an organization that provides a regular paycheck. Right now, the U.S. is delivering at a staggeringly low rate of 44%, which is the number of full-time jobs as a percent of the adult population, 18 years and older. We need that to be 50% and a bare minimum of 10 million new, good jobs to replenish America’s middle class.

I hear all the time that “unemployment is greatly reduced, but the people aren’t feeling it.” When the media, talking heads, the White House and Wall Street start reporting the truth — the percent of Americans in good jobs; jobs that are full time and real — then we will quit wondering why Americans aren’t “feeling” something that doesn’t remotely reflect the reality in their lives. And we will also quit wondering what hollowed out the middle class.

Jim Clifton is Chairman and CEO at Gallup.

This may be surprising to some. Sadly, we see so many good people caught in this trap.

We are doing what we CAN and invite you to support our efforts.

Back to work…

Hugs & Peace, your rock CAN roll sister and friend,

Posted in rockCANroll Blog | Comments Off on What is rock CAN roll? Why you should care?

9.28 Tunnel To Towers Run & Support rock CAN roll!

From Jackie, our rock CAN roll sister and friend…


On Sunday, September 28, 2014 the Tunnel to Towers 5k run/walk will take place from Brooklyn to NYC. It is a run that was organized in memory of fallen fireman Stephen Siller. Stephen was just off duty on September 11, 2001 when the attacks took place, but heard of them on his radio. He had just gotten to the Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and immediately turned around to go back into the city. At that time all of the tunnels and bridges had already been closed so he left his vehicle, put his gear on, and proceeded to run all the way through the tunnel and to the buildings to join the rescue. Unfortunately, like so many others on that horrible day, he never made it out. Stephen was married with four children, and one of nine siblings. His siblings then started the Stephen Siller Foundation, which does amazing work for victims of September 11th, burn victims, war veterans, victims of Hurricane Sandy, and children who have suffered the loss of a parent. They also host the Tunnel to Towers Run/Walk, which follows the very path Stephen took on that day, thirteen years ago, running through the tunnel to the Manhattan side and along West Street to Battery Park City, ending across from Ground Zero.

As many of you know, I do not take part in many September 11th related events. For me it is just too hard because it hits too close to home. However, this is an amazing event. I have found that most of the people who take part in the day really “get it”, and that’s not something I come across often.

For those of you already signed up for the run/walk, I look forward to seeing you. For those who are not signed up but are interested, I encourage you to log on to www.T2Trun.org and join us. You can run or walk, or just come in support of everyone participating. West Street and Battery Park City are both closed off and there is a real community feel to the whole event with music and venders filling the streets after. It’s a great way for New York City, and all the participants, to acknowledge what happened on that horrible day because it’s done in a very respectful, positive, proactive way. Which leads me to part two of the day.

The first time I did the run I was with a very special group of people. We spent the entire day together…commuting in, running the race, meeting up with old friends, making new ones, laughing and crying together…and not wanting to leave each other. We felt such a strong bond after experiencing so much together, and touching on so many different emotions. On the way home we spoke about the energy we felt and how we wished we could do something with it. I immediately knew if we decided to run the following year we would need to have something set up, already in place and ready to participate in. When you’re full of so much emotion you want to do something then and there, because after all, you can’t change the past, but TOGETHER we can certainly do something positive in the present and hope to better the future.


I was then lucky enough to connect with my good friend, Aimee Holtzman, who is the founder and president of rock CAN roll, a non-profit, hunger relief organization who’s mission is to continually stock the shelves of emergency food agencies in our neighborhoods. She is an amazing woman who is doing incredible work and I was immediately drawn to her and deeply affected by her. Who better to team up with??

So here’s the deal.

After the run, when everyone is feeling pumped up and ready to do something about it, we are all going to head to Brooklyn (because where else would we want to be)! We are going to come together as a group, continue with that community spirit, eat, drink, listen to music, have a good ol’ time…and while we’re doing all that we are going to help put food on the table for our neighbors in need. It’s a win-win all the way around!


As I have said for quite some time, I am the luckiest unlucky girl in the world, and that holds true to date. A very good friend came through in the final hour and freed up some space for us to occupy at the Lock Yard, 9221 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209
718-333-5282 www.lockyard.com
Whilst there we will be entertained by the extremely talented, incredibly good looking, and always entertaining, John Rafferty, who will be singing and strumming his heart out for all to enjoy.


For a $25.00 cover charge there will be plenty to eat and drink…with a particularly fun menu and very trendy craft beer and wine selections.

All I am asking is if each of you could please bring as many non-perishable food items as you can (no glass please). For suggestions of most needed items you can log on to Aimee’s website, www.rockCANroll.org scroll down to the bottom right side of the page and click on the recommended food list. Imagine the impact we could have as group if everyone brought a donation of most needed items…
we can start the day in New York taking part in something very important from our past, but then we can come together and do something that will help people today, right now, and in the future!

And remember, you don’t have to be in/at the run to participate. If you are unable to make it to NY that morning, please don’t let that keep you from joining us in the afternoon. The more the merrier! Any and all are welcome, so please feel free to pass the email along…just remember, your admission (and $25) to join in on the festivities can be found on the food list on Aimee’s website…that’s all I ask.

For those of you who will be coming from my neck of the woods in NJ, we will have transportation to take us to NYC, Brooklyn, and back home at the end of the day.

A bus will make two pick ups. The first pick up in Lebanon, NJ , and the second in Far Hills, NJ.

Cars can be left at either location until the end of the day and food donations can be placed on the bus upon your arrival in the morning.

The exact time of departure is not yet known, however, the bus will be leaving New Jersey from the Far Hills at approximately 6.00 am. Coffee and bagels will be served on the bus on the way to NYC, and pizza and beer will be served on the way home…Brooklyn pizza…the good stuff!

A more detailed time-line will be provided when we know exactly who is attending, however we normally leave Brooklyn between 6-7 PM

Registration for the run will close shortly, so please register ASAP.

Information and registration for Tunnel to Towers Run can be found at www.T2T.org

Information on rock CAN roll and a list of most needed food items can be found at www.rockCANroll.org

Information and directions for the Lock Yard can be found at www.lockyard.com

RSVP’s for the day’s events can be sent to me at gilbertjbs@aol.com

The run takes off at 9.30 am, but registration and bib pick up is prior to that. For those of you who are not running, please join us at the Lock Yard 9221 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY from 1.00 PM on.

I look forward to seeing you all on the 28th! I know it’s late notice, but we can do it, especially because we know why we do it!
So please join me as we cross over to the other side.

Pray for our loved ones,
pray for each other,
pray for peace.


Many Thanks … Hugs & Peace, your rock CAN roll sister and friend, Aimee You CAN email us at aimee@rockCANroll.org

Posted in rockCANroll Blog | Comments Off on 9.28 Tunnel To Towers Run & Support rock CAN roll!

Rod Stewart & Carlos Santana 8/20 at Nikon Jones Beach Theatre

You CAN Help Out While You Rock Out! Wednesday, August 20 at the Rod Stewart & Carlos Santana Show at The Nikon Jones Beach Theatre! Please bring along some HEALTHY nonperishables for people & PETS! A list of most needed foods CAN be found here! The more people who know, the more people we CAN help! Not going to the show? You CAN still donate now.
Many thanks for supporting our efforts! With friends like YOU we CAN beat hunger!

Posted in rockCANroll Blog | Comments Off on Rod Stewart & Carlos Santana 8/20 at Nikon Jones Beach Theatre

Everyone CAN Be A WINNER Through August at wit & whim

Many thanks to our rCr friends at wit & whim! You CAN shop at the store through August and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to rock CAN roll! When you visit the store and bring along some HEALTHY nonperishables and receive a 10% discount!

You CAN call the wit & whim (if you’re out of town) at 516-944-9200. They have gorgeous and unique gift items for yourself and those you love!

Laurie and her team will do personal shopping for you! They’ll take care of everything!

Pop-Up artisan, Robin Shatzkin’s handmade alpaca scarfs, blankets, pillows, soaps and more are featured at the store! Just call for details. Shopping local & helping to feed locals in need is truly a win-win for all!

Here’s the story! Just click it!

GREAT NEWS! You CAN also enter a raffle to benefit rCr! Tickets are 1 for $10, 3 for $25 want more 8 for $50 and 20 for $100!
Not only can you win a watch (photos below), 2 tickets to Motown The Musical (Oct 18), or a magnificent Alplaca & Silk Scarf and basket of goodies from our talented rCr sister and friend Robin Shatzkin!

We also have a drumhead autographed by our rCr brothers and friends, Crosby, Stills & Nash, and a rCr totebag autographed by our rCr brothers & friends Maroon5

The money raised will help rock CAN roll deliver Thanksgiving and Holiday Turkeys to people who need them!

This is a great time to get those holiday gifts out of the way!

You CAN also enter the raffle and donate now!At check-out, note if you’re entering the raffle!



IMG_0856wit & whim

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook!
Our message is simple: You CAN Help Out While You Rock Out!

Hugs and Peace your rock CAN sister and friend,

Posted in rockCANroll Blog | Comments Off on Everyone CAN Be A WINNER Through August at wit & whim

We’re Having A Party! Join Us on August 7! Support Us Throughout August!

On August 7, 2014 from 7p-9:30p, our wonderful friends at wit & whim are hosting a reception at their beautiful store in Port Washington, NY. Please join us for a night of great music by our rCr brother and friend Emanuel Gibson and a beautiful trunk show featuring luxurious alpaca blankets, scarfs and goodies created by our rCr sister and friend Robin Arnold Shatzkin! There will be food and wine, so PLEASE RSVP to rsvp@rockCANroll.org, so we have enough for YOU!

Please bring along some HEALTHY nonperishable food donations for people or pets, or anything off out list of most needed foods to the event. Food will be collected throughout the month!

Throughout the month of August, all proceeds from wit & whim will be donated to rock CAN roll

If you can’t make it to the store, just give them a call and they will do personal shopping for you! Their number is 516. 944.9200

Store is located at: six carlton ave.,port washingtonnew york 11050

Please share this with your friends….
Hugs & Peace and many thanks. You rock!

Posted in rockCANroll Blog | Comments Off on We’re Having A Party! Join Us on August 7! Support Us Throughout August!

Michael Franti’s SoulShine at Pier 97

Join us Monday 7/21 at JBL Pier 97 for The Michael Franti Show!156595a The first 100 fans to bring 3-5 Healthy nonperishable food donations (for people or PETS) or any personal items off our List of Most Needed Foods CAN get a free ticket to the show. Everyone CAN win some fun prizes generously donated by our rock CAN roll friends at Live Nation! The end result of your support is people (and their pets) will have food to eat. It is on their behalf we say, thank you … you rock!
Visit rockCANroll.org for details.

Posted in rockCANroll Blog | Comments Off on Michael Franti’s SoulShine at Pier 97