NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Taking place over Memorial Day weekend, this year’s Side By Side: A Celebration of Service™ brought together celebrities, military and health care heroes for an unforgettable benefit concert and television event in honor of all those who serve, and to raise money for Northwell Health’s Military Liaison Services Program.
Hosted by Alfonso Ribeiro and produced by First Tube Media, highlights from last night’s livestream benefit include a special, in-person show for military and health care workers performed by NE-YO from the top of One World Observatory; Gavin DeGraw playing live from the rooftop at Lenox Health Greenwich Village in New York City; and Katy Perry sharing an intimate conversation with John Kelly, Care Coordinator at Northwell Health’s Military Liaison Services Program, and Sean Christensen, a fellow veteran who John connected with through their shared experiences, and supported in his transition back to civilian life. Katy Perry closed the livestream with a set of her powerful anthems – “Roar,” “Firework,” and “Resilient” – with a heartfelt dedication to John, Sean, and all those who serve.
“I’ve learned from my new friends Sean Christensen and John Kelly that soldiers undergo resiliency training to ensure that they’re self-sufficient during combat,” said Katy Perry. “However, when they return home, it’s often this very training that prevents them from seeking the help that they need. These two military veterans are now working with Northwell to ensure our heroes returning from combat understand that asking for help isn’t giving up, it’s refusing to give up.”
“I am beyond honored to be a part of this event, “ said NE-YO. “It’s been twenty years since 9/11 and it just means so much to perform for first responders, veterans, and all those have served this great city in, in this building that is a symbol of resilience.”
“It really means a lot to me to be able to be a part of Side By Side,” said Gavin DeGraw. “A lot of my family was in the military, so this hits close to home for me, it is my way of honoring them too. Being back in New York City to perform is really special as well, it feels really good to play live again.”
PepsiCo, with its long history of supporting the military and our servicemen and servicewomen, is a proud sponsor of Side By Side: A Celebration of Service™ whose livestream benefit concert in the company’s backyard in New York City can be viewed in its entirety HERE.
Prior to the livestream benefit concert, the Side By Side: A Celebration of Service™ television event, produced in partnership with Al Roker Entertainment, aired on NBC4 New York on May 27 and opened with a moving performance of “Rise Up” by Northwell Health Nurse Choir. The program went on to share first-hand accounts of NYC’s resilience from heroes like Bernie Robinson who, after nearly dying this past year due to his work at the forefront of the Covid-19 pandemic, is back at it and better than ever. We also heard from Sandra Lindsay, the nurse who was the first person in America to receive the Covid-19 vaccine; Scott Strauss, a 9/11 first responder who helped save two Port Authority Officers buried under “the pile,” and Michael Dowling, President & CEO of Northwell Health, who more than a decade ago created Northwell’s Office of Military and Veterans Liaison Services and spoke about its importance.
“Side By Side is our effort at Northwell to celebrate the service of so many people who give so much to the rest of us,” said Dowling. “We are very fortunate and privileged to live in a free country and it is something that we can never take for granted. It is because of those people that put their lives in danger through their service that allows us to live the way we live, and we owe them an unbelievable debt of gratitude.”
Northwell Health, New York’s largest health care provider and private employer, first launched Side By Side: A Celebration of Service™ over Memorial Day weekend 2019 in honor of those who have died serving our country, our veterans and active military. The two-part celebration featured free daytime performances by Boyz II Men, Gavin DeGraw, The U.S. Navy Band and more, along with extraordinary storytelling by veterans. Later that evening, Northwell provided free tickets to hundreds of service members and their families for a special performance by GRAMMY Award-winning, multi-platinum band Imagine Dragons. In 2020, Side By Side: A Celebration of Service™ recognized those on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic with a Memorial Day television special and a #HealthcareHeroes Concert series that brought back Gavin DeGraw along with performances by Questlove and Meghan Trainor.
Since 2006, Northwell has been serving and supporting active-duty personnel, veterans and their families as a proud, military-friendly employer and provider of both medical care and behavioral health treatment for those struggling with PTSD, while also recruiting and assisting newly returned veterans trying to find a job and acclimate back into civilian life. Northwell hires hundreds of veterans a year, and over the past decade has also awarded about $2 million to employees who were mobilized and deployed overseas – funds that represent the difference between their military pay and the regular salaries they would have earned at their Northwell jobs. In recognition of its efforts, Northwell is ranked as the nation’s seventh top nonprofit employer by the veterans advocacy group “Military Friendly.”
To make a donation to Northwell Health’s Military Liaison Services program text NORTHWELL to 56512 (USA only) or go to https://bit.ly/3tiSiU5.
For more on Side By Side: A Celebration of Service™ please visit SideBySideNYC.com.
About Northwell Health
Northwell Health is New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer, with 23 hospitals, 830 outpatient facilities and more than 16,600 affiliated physicians. We care for over two million people annually in the New York metro area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 76,000 employees – 18,900 nurses and 4,800 employed doctors, including members of Northwell Health Physician Partners – are working to change health care for the better. We’re making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research. We're training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and the Hofstra Northwell School of Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit Northwell.edu and follow us @NorthwellHealth on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.