Another wonderful time at the Midnight Mission’s 17th Annual Golden Hearts Awards. For over a hundred years, the non-profit Mission has provided LA’s homeless with food (over a million meals served a year), shelter and a gateway back to self sufficiency. This year they have also moved into Orange County to support the region’s growing homelessness population.
We were introduced years ago to the great work the Mission does by Norm Harris of Norman’s Rare Guitars. Norm’s passion for the Mission translates to the major artists who gave fund-raising performances at his request, including Richie Sambora, Jackson Browne, Los Lobos, Don Felder and Tom Petty just to name a few. At this gala, Norm (a past Golden Hearts honoree) gave a heartfelt speech about Tom’s generosity and spoke of Tom’s continuous offers to perform (Petty was honored with a Golden Hearts Award in 2011). This year’s musical guest and honoree, Joe Bonamassa, talked about, as many musicians could relate to, his near homelessness early in his career. Joe followed that moving speech with a few amazingly powerful acoustic songs accompanied by past honoree Jason Sinay. Joe hen donated the vintage Gibson he played to the Mission for further fund-raising.
Amplify would like to thank our friends for donating wonderful gifts for the silent auction; Hockey Hall of Famer and LA Kings president, Luc Robitaille for valuable memorabilia; photographer Lisa S. Johnson for an autographed copy of her brilliant “108 Rock Star Guitars” book and large format art print of one of Joe Bonamassa’s guitars featured in the book; Wyland for a stunning limited edition litho of his “Lunar Celebration”; and Amir Mertaban and Live Nation for the VIP tickets and a bottle of choice wine (nice touch) for a concert at the historic Fox Theater in downtown Riverside. All of these added greatly to the very successful event. Not everyone has the resources to donate valuable items like these but as our team always says, “It doesn’t matter how big or small your contribution is, every little bit helps.”