Princeton Eye Group announces benefit concert at Hopewell Theater


Singer Songwriter Jill Sobule will headline a benefit concert at the Hopewell Theater on Nov. 12  at 7 p.m.

Proceeds from the concert will benefit the Kibuye Hope Project, a teaching hospital in one of the poorest and most densely populated countries in the world, Burundi, Africa. Specifically, funds raised will be used to help them bring the first retinal surgeon to the country of roughly 15 million people.

“Our needs for this type of specialty are so great and pressing” John Cropsey, MD said. Cropsey has recently dedicated his life to creating a self sustaining ophthalmology training program in Burundi.

“Every day is a fight for survival and diseases like Retinoblastoma which has a 97% cure rate in the US, has a 70% mortality rate here in Africa and even higher in Burundi. We are working to turn that around,” he said.

Dr. Cropsey trained at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia and along with his wife and three children, has been living and working in Africa since finishing his residency in 2009. All concert proceeds will support his work in this impoverished but vibrant nation.

Jill Sobule is an American singer-songwriter who first caught mainstream attention with her 1995 song “I Kissed a Girl” – the first song about same-sex romance to crack the Billboard Top 20. Her folk inflected compositions alternate between ironic, story-driven character studies and emotive ballads, a duality reminiscent of Warren Zevon, Harry Nilsson, Harry Chapin and Randy Newman. Autobiographical elements, including her adolescent battles with anorexia and depression, frequently occur in her writings.

“Nostalgia Kills,” her most recent album, turns her warm wit and poet’s eye on herself more than ever before, revisiting moments from throughout her life that made her into the person she is today. It’s an especially poignant look back at childhood — “exorcising some junior high school demons,” as she puts it.

Supporting Jill Sobule will be performances by Project One, a New Jersey based band that includes Princeton Eye Group ophthalmologist Dr. John Epstein on guitar. Other members of Project One include John Kelly (another Princeton Eye Group employee), Art Stephano, Scott Belgard and John Ferrigno. Project One performs a mix of innovative original blues, reggae, country and rock music.

Opening the night will be a band led by Princeton Eye Group co-founder Dr. Michael Wong, a pianist. Dr. Epstein and his children Justin and Madeline will accompany him along with Princeton Eye Group employees Sam Morgenstern, John Kelly and Katelyn Malik. John Ferrigno will round out the group on drums.

“Our goal for this very special night is for all to have a blast while at the same time bringing some much needed awareness and money to the situation in Burundi,” Dr. Epstein said. “All of my colleagues are of the same mindset, namely, to give back and help others. Eye care in Africa, especially in smaller rural countries, is barely existent. We aim to help.”

This benefit concert is the brainchild of the doctors of Princeton Eye Group as part of its mission and commitment to give back, which they refer to as Princeton Eye Group Cares.

About Princeton Eye Group
Princeton Eye Group,, is New Jersey’s premier eye care group, serving all of central New Jersey with patients visiting from all over the country. Doctors Stephen Felton, Michael Wong, Richard Wong, David Reynolds, Anita Miedziak, Samuel Liu, John Epstein, Suzanne Jadico, Sarah Kuchar and Peter Murr, and their colleagues, have successfully thousands of patients in all aspects of eye care, from routine checkups to cataract and LASIK surgery. Having received their training at top medical and schools they continue to pioneer new procedures, train and mentor other doctors, and provide pro bono services to communities in need.