Sunday, June 28, 2009

Now There's An App to Fight Cancer

Pioneers For A Cure: Songs to Fight Cancer

Pioneers For A Cure has been working toward this day for while now.
It's with a humble, yet hopeful, attitude that we are pleased to present to you our free iPhone App, "Fight Cancer."

Please try it and enjoy our free embedded song, Am Yisrael Chai, featuring 40 artists determined to fight cancer. It's mixed by legendary engineer Bob Clearmountain.

We'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

No Such Thing As The Wrong Funeral

We rush through life everyday, hopefully trying to accomplish something positive, while managing our responsibilities. This morning brought a community email of the passing of someone's parent. I knew the family and felt I should drop everything to attend the services in four hours time. I knew these people and wanted to be there in this time of loss.

The services were meaningful and respectful. The sons spoke very well. The Rabbi's were eloquent. The community gathered together on short notice. At the end of the service the pallbearers lead the family out through the center aisle. Only then did I realize that this was not the person I thought of in the morning, but another family in the community with the same name! 

I'm glad I went anyway, this is another fine family, but I was a little rushed this morning. Our true opportunities are few and far between, each day offers up some kind of chance.

I would never say I was at the wrong funeral. I sat there thinking of Jack Kemp's passing today as well. Her's was Alzhiemer's, his was cancer. We get the most out of our time if we're lucky.

Pioneers For A Cure exists to raise funds for artist selected charities. Our initial catalogue is new recordings of old Israeli pioneer songs to fight cancer; The Postcard Project. Next up is American pioneer songs later in the year, also to fight cancer. Could a later collection fight Alzheimer's? I hope so. Micro donations over the net are growing everyday.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Obama's 100th Day & Pioneers For A Cure

Today is Israel's Independence Day, Yom Hatzmaut, and it's also the 100th day of President Obama's Administration. It's also the official launch day for Pioneers For A Cure.

We congratulate Israel on it's 61st Birthday, having overcome impossible odds to gain independence and maintain it day by day.

We congratulate President Obama as he leads the U.S. during these troubled economic times. Much has been made of his grassroots support during the campaign and his use of micro donations to reach his goals.

Pioneers For A Cure is also using micro philanthropy to help the fight against cancer.
We want to give props to Les C. of Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, UK for being the first person to make multiple downloads on the Pioneers For A Cure website. His total of $17.91 results in funds being targeted to Breast Cancer Research FoundationCancer patients of the Phyllis Newman Health InitiativeChai Lifeline Children's Cancer Camp SimchaDr. Allyson J. Ocean Research Fund - Weill Cornell Medical CollegeEllen's RunIsrael Children's Cancer FoundationSusan G Komen for the Cure, and Israel Cancer Research Fund.

We hope this model of downloads for donations will help us achieve our goal of making a difference for those affected by cancer.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009 Podcast

Please join us as we forge ahead in 2009 to raise funds for these artist selected cancer charities.Hear NPR's Jon Kalish delve deep into the details of this project to revive the music of the pioneers in an effort to fight cancer. Artist interviews and song samples paint the background of this innovative project.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Live Dead

"Maybe that’s the best one can do at the highest level of engagement. Not to try to listen for the best night ever; not even to listen for the best period ever. But to try to figure out why we’re listening at all."
Just read a "grate" article on the Dead's 2,000 plus recorded live shows. Check out it's entirety.
Pioneers For A Cure would love to record any members of the Dead. Big fans. 
Yossi Piamenta's version of  "Shedimati" has a Grateful Dead vibe to it.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

If Only Cancer could "PassOver" Us

On Passover we will read the story of the exodus from Egypt. The whole 10 plagues. The final plague is the death of the first born. The Israelites were warned to paint their doorposts with ram's blood, so that the Angel of Death would "Pass Over" those homes.
If only there were such an elegant method of avoiding the various forms of cancer. There isn't, yet, so we'll just keep working on ways to help those in need.
Pioneers For A Cure has been working a whole year to get to the point where our website now looks good and takes donations, for which songs are gifted as a download. Check it out!

The official Pioneers For A Cure launch is set for Yom Hatzmaut, April 29th, 2009. We've set a goal of raising $100,000 in our first 90 days. May we exceed our expectations!

The Pioneers For A Cure team wishes you and yours a wonderful Passover & Easter Holidays!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

No Justice

Today we find "Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is being treated for pancreatic cancer," sharing the headlines. This also presents the opportunity for the media to mention Steve Jobs' recent, and perhaps recurring, bout with a variant of pancreatic cancer.

The article has some interesting stats, "fewer than 38,000 people were diagnosed with the disease last year, compared with more than 215,000 cases of lung cancer and almost 185,000 of breast cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute."

Monday, February 2, 2009

Pioneers For A Cure Superbowl Ad, on YouTube!

Pioneers For A Cure couldn't afford to waste money on network television, so we put our effort into releasing the Am Yisroel Chai video on Superbowl Sunday on YouTube. This video showcases most of the artists who have already donated their time and talent to raise money for cancer charities.

One question, should we only show those artists who are actually on this track, or is it OK to show more artists who did songs for Pioneers For A Cure, but weren't on Am Yisroel Chai?
Comments please. :-)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

You Write What You Read

I read sports blogs. I read tech blogs. I read blogs about Israel and politics, but I write a blog about launching a cancer charity project, Pioneers For A Cure.

Here we are on the first day of February, 2009. The Pioneers For A Cure "launch" has entered it's final stretch. For a while, we thought we'd be out for the Holidays of '08, just in time for the year end donation cycle. Production cycles prevailed over other considerations, and we firmly set our sites on January 29th, 2009.

Israel's 61st Independence Day will be April, 29th, 2009. We wanted to launch 90 days prior, in order to set our quarterly distribution of funds to the receiving cancer organizations so that the first monies would be distributed on Yom Ha'atzmaut. Recently I realized that January, 29th was also the anniversary of my Uncle's passing. This made the date even more fitting for Pioneers For A Cure.

So now that day has passed, and our "Web Donation Store" isn't exactly, or in any other form, ready. The songs are ready, mastered and sounding great. The hats, tees, wristbands, etc... are ready, pink, blue and khaki motifs abound. What's not ready is the actual donation transaction mechanism. It's like a shopping cart, but for non-profits. You're not buying music. You're making a tax deductible donation to a non-profit, Joodayoh Arts. You get music as our gift in return for your donation. A database has to track which songs correspond to the charities selected by the artist to get the benefit from their song.

So, ultimately, this blog continues to chronicle the process of launching a cancer charity project, Pioneers For A Cure. Here we write about all the aspects of the music, the artists, the portraits by Mira Sasson, the iPhone Apps, the people who've inspired us to try this novel approach to fundraising.

Sometimes you just write what you read... (isn't there a football game today?)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

3 Years Gone...

Three years ago today my dear Uncle Arie, (Z'L') passed away after his struggle with Pancreatic Cancer. He lived about a year and a half after the diagnosis and ensuing Whipple procedure. That's more than twice as long as most, and we were grateful for each day.

His legacy is huge. He supported many charities and had a policy that anyone who brings themself to ask for help should not be turned away empty handed. Perhaps they weren't completely satisfied, but they always got something for their trouble.

Arie taught me so much. My only Uncle, he taught me how to put on Tefilin as my Bar Mitzvah approached. As an adult, he taught me about business, especially not to waste and how to negotiate respectfully. He encouraged and supported me as I learned how to manage our family business. He once looked at a clock I had made, which demonstrated the stages of building a home. He told me that before I had that clock made there hadn't been such a thing in the world, and now there was. That simple support meant a lot.

This is why Pioneers For A Cure exists. A tribute to a wonderful person who appreciated his family very much. Before the Pioneers project, there might not have been a place for these old songs to raise money for cancer charities selected by each artist. There might not have been iPhone Apps to raise money for cancer charities. Now there are, pending Apple's approval.

Rest well Arie. We're still hard at work, as I sit now at the very desk he used so well for so long.