(WSYR-TV) — For nearly 50 years, Jack O. Bocchino was one of the Syracuse music scene’s most passionate supporters, capturing the essence of musicians with his camera. Before he died of cancer this spring, the Syracuse Area Music Awards named a new Spirit of the SAMMY’s Award in his name. He was awarded the first trophy.
“You ask just about any musician in this town when they saw Jack walk in the door, whether he had a camera in hand or not, they were happy to see him,” said Babette Puzzy, JacksGiving volunteer.
For several years, Jack had quietly cooked a complete Thanksgiving dinner for families in need. His friends thought it would be a fitting tribute to keep that tradition going.
“Food is love. Food is love,” said Mark Macri, singer/songwriter. “He’s Italian, so food is love. So we’re just extending that love.”
Since mid-October, a Facebook fundraiser has collected more than $6,400 for the first JacksGiving celebration. Organizers plan to give away as many Thanksgiving dinners as they can and use the rest of the money to support some of Jack’s other favorite causes.
“There will not be any questions, no judgments,” said Julia Slade, music photographer. “And the same thing goes in effect. All we ask is that when you can, or if you can, just pay it forward.”
This weekend, they hope to boost the effort even more with a live streaming concert on Sunday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. from Subcat Studios in Armory Square.
Eight bands will perform and share stories about Jack. It’s their way to celebrate a friend and fill a need too many are feeling.
“The new need,” said Joanna Jewett, vocalist. “The need to feel connected, the need to know that somebody really cares. I think that is a really keen need right now.”
To help, find JacksGiving’s Facebook Page here. They are determined to keep it going. They plan to file for charity status so that they can make JacksGiving an annual tradition.