|Page (1) of 1 - 03/06/12||email article||print page|
US violin prodigy among Jefferson Awards recipients; raised $5M for global pediatric research
NEW YORK (AP) ' A U.S. violin prodigy who has channeled his musical talents to raise more than $5 million for pediatric medical research around the globe will be honored for his achievement on Tuesday with one of the United States' highest public service awards ' the Jefferson Awards.
Jourdan Urbach, a resident of the Long Island community of Roslyn who has headlined benefit concerts at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and other venues, founded Concerts for a Cure when he was only 7 years old.
Since then, he has raised $5.1 million to fight children's neurological diseases and fund research. Through benefit concerts, he has funded 12 lifesaving neurosurgeries, 1,000 cochlear implants, pediatric clinics in Africa and El Salvador and a bedside music program at the University of Michigan's Mott Children's Hospital.
He is among four Americans 25 years and under to be recognized as a Jefferson Awards "Globe Changer," said Sam Beard, who founded the awards known as "the Nobel Prize for public service" with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and U.S. Sen. Robert Taft Jr. in 1972.
"He's 20 years old and he's basically transformed the way hospitals raise money," said Beard, adding he has never seen someone so young raise so much money.
"He's passionate about the kids who have neurological diseases," Beard said. "He figured he had musical talent and if he could combine it with his goals he could make a difference."
Winning the Jefferson Award is "a massive honor," Urbach said in a telephone interview a day before the awards ceremony.
It is a recognition young people don't expect to get "and when we do, it's a vote of confidence that often helps us out down the line with our further endeavors," he said.