Similar to the idea that Christmas decorations start making an appearance in stores around Halloween, Rick Springfield’s birthday season has begun, although his birthday is more than a month away (Aug. 23).
At a concert last week, a round of “Happy Birthday” was an unofficial part of the set list and dedicated fans have kicked off The 2016 Rick Springfield Birthday Charity Campaign.
His fans started raising money for charity back in 2007 – generated by his return to “General Hospital” that year that had a fundraising component tied to the show. Over the years, it has morphed into an annual birthday campaign – since 2007, the effort has raised over $80,000 for charity.
Last year’s campaign raised $18,666.
The fans raise money for a charity of RS’s choice – he has requested that people donate to charity rather than spend money on gifts for him. This year’s charity is the Linda Blair Worldheart Foundation, which provides a safe haven for the animals it rescues. And as any RS fan knows, he loves dogs. So, in a sense, this fundraiser helps him carry out his early aspirations of being a veterinarian because money given in his honor is helping so many dogs.
The fan-driven campaign officially began on July 15 and continues through Sept. 3 (although if I recall correctly, there were still rounds of “Happy Birthday” sang at October shows last year.)
All donations will receive raffle tickets and this year’s grand prize is “Rockin’ with Rick,” a soundcheck for two. There are other prizes, too, donated by fans. For entry rules and prize information, visit happybirthdayrick.com.
And what is the birthday boy up to as he reaches retirement-age-plus 2? He seems to be making up for the time he took off back in the 1980s/1990s and doesn’t appear to be slowing down at all. He’s currently on a summer tour and doing some filming for an acting gig. (Update on July 24: It was confirmed today that RS will appear as rock star Vince Vincente/Lucifer on the “Supernatural” TV series.) Probably doing some writing during his travel time, too.
He’s received some nice press on his current tour, a nice change from the “‘Jessie’s Girl’ singer is coming to town” headlines that seemed much more prevalent two years ago when I started this blog. Check out this beautiful blog post on The Huffington Post written by a mom/longtime fan: Celebrating Youth: 9 Year Old Boy With Autism Rocks Out on Drums, While Rick Springfield Leads the Crowd in Singing Happy Birthday to His 7 Year Old Sister. The blog post includes a video of this sweet encounter.
He also received some press about his appearance in Cleveland earlier this week, a charity concert held at the same time as the Republican National Convention. Rather than spew any political opinions, he simply performed a hit-filled, high-energy concert and wore a T-shirt that said, “Not an endorsement.” A wise move, I thought.
Since I don’t have any concerts lined up for the RS birthday season, I’ll just extend my birthday greetings here (yes, my 13-year-old self that generates this blog sometimes pretends that RS actually reads it): Happy birthday! Your fans are glad you’re alive and we appreciate all the joy you bring to the world!