(Phoenix) – As co-host of the popular syndicated morning radio show Johnjay and Rich, Johnjay Van Es doesn’t usually judge people. However, on January 23, he will make an exception as a Celebrity Judge for the dancing competition at the Brainiac Bash Soiree Promoting Brain Health, presented by the Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona.
The event will be held from 5:30-10:30pm at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia with proceeds benefitting the organization’s programs and services for survivors of brain injury and their families. Additionally, the evening will feature the awarding of Courage honors to Auctiontainer Letitia Frye (Woman of Courage), Brandon Lee (Man of Courage), Missy Byrd (Courageous Veteran) and Bryan Danielson (Courageous Athlete).
“When chair Kathy Pidgeon asked me to judge Arizona celebrity dancers, I automatically said yes,” recalls Johnjay. “She’s an amazing person with such a huge heart and promoting brain health is such an important cause.”
The invitation means more to Johnjay as his life has been touched by brain injury in a profound way.
In 2011, his mother died due to a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a highly aggressive grade 4 glioma brain tumor. He watched her suffer for 18 months as her condition deteriorated. “Early on, before we knew what she had, she collapsed and broke her nose while coming out of a Starbuck’s. We thought it was just an accident. As her condition got worse, we discovered that the tumor had veins that wrapped around her brain like tentacles.”
Today, Johnjay stresses the importance of raising funds for matters of the brain, from research to programs and services for survivors of brain injury and their families, like those offered by the Brain Injury Alliance. “It changes everybody involved and we need to support all the work being done in these areas. I’m glad I can be part of this.”
Brainiac Bash Chair Kathy Pidgeon, is excited that the big-hearted radio personality has been added to the lineup. “This year’s event will be filled with fun, fine dining, dancing, an auction, and great camaraderie, all for the great cause of promoting brain health.”
Johnjay is equally excited to assess the steps of prominent Arizonans who have been paired with professional dancers. “I’m looking forward to checking out the dance moves, laughing, and telling stories.
“More than that, though, is that I enjoy watching other people get enjoyment out of helping people. There’s nothing better than that.”
The Brainiac Bash Soiree Supporting Brain Health will be held on Saturday, January 14, 2023 from 5:30-10:30pm, at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia.