Tommy Mastro is a drummer who grew up in Long Branch. And he needs your help. You're invited to the Headliner this Sunday for a benefit concert featuring some of our favorite local artists.

"Together for Tommy" will take place at the Headliner this Sunday, June 9, 2013, from 3 pm - 7 pm. Pat Roddy, Rory Daniels Band and ASAP will be playing along with special guests. NFL great Phil Villapiano will be speaking. Phil is a former Oakland Raider who also grew up in Long Branch, and spends much of his time supporting MDA and ALS. There will be food, a silent auction (the Atlantic Club is among those donating several items), and a cash bar too. They're asking for a $20 donation at the door. And you can say hello to Tommy, who will be there.

For years Tommy has been a fixture of the NJ and NY music scene playing with many bands in venues of hundreds of thousands including the Meadowlands opening for Bruce Springsteen. Tommy was most recently living and working in Nashville, but was then diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

With ALS, nerve cells located in the brain and spinal cord gradually degenerate, eventually causing weakened muscles. Over time, ALS affects most voluntary muscles in the body, and in later stages, the muscles used for breathing are affected. So Tommy has moved to Florida to be near his family, although he's back here for a visit right now.

Tommy's friends are hoping to gather contributions for his medical treatments and associated costs. Currently the fight against ALS is through experimental drugs and procedures, most of which are not covered by insurance.

(Photo of Tommy courtesy of Mike Mastro)

Tommy once toured with his band The Discontent, sharing the stage with Jeff Healy, the Goo Goo Dolls, Fuel, Dee Schneider, Joan Jett and more. Locally, he played with Brian Kirk and the Jirks, Pat Roddy, Rory Daniels and many others. He taught for years at the Musicians Workshop in Manalapan. He is renowned as an excellent drum instructor and and exceptional player.

His friends say that to know Tommy is to love him. He grew up in Long Branch and attended school at Long Branch Jr. High School and Long Branch High School. But he is now, at the age of 50, using a wheelchair, although he still has his speech.

Our thoughts are with you, Tommy, and with all of those suffering from ALS. We continue to hope and pray for a cure.

For more information, click here.