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Imagine a toddler thrown into a wall from across the room.

Imagine that toddler surrounded by alcoholism, drug addiction, suicide attempts and physical violence.

Imagine a child never feeling love, a warm embrace or nurturing from his own parents.

Imagine a child with agonizing night terrors from the screams of helplessness inside him.

Imagine a shy and lonely child attending kindergarten and feeling so alone and different that he became a target of daily physical and verbal assaults.

Imagine a child returning home from school and being verbally assaulted all over again.

Imagine a child awakened in the dark of the night and repeatedly dragged into a car. As the car raced violently he could only hear the screams of his mother’s voice…”I’m going to kill us all.”

Imagine a child returning to school the next day pretending that everything was fine, only to be beaten and bullied again.

Imagine a child holding a secret.

Imagine a young man upon discovering how he was different than the other boys in school and realizing that everyone else already knew.

Imagine a young man being severely verbally abused and physically beaten by strangers just for being himself.

Imagine a young man wielding a knife as a cry for help.

Imagine a young man locked behind bars and finally feeling safe for the very first time in his short life.

Imagine a young man of 14 leaving home and never looking back.

Imagine a young man just five months later attending a concert that would ultimately change the trajectory of his life forever.

Imagine a fragile shell of a young man, one among of crowd of over 15,000, being pulled on stage to sing with his favorite rock star.

Imagine a young man in that moment feeling accepted and noticed for the first time in his life.

Imagine a young man returning to school the next day beaming with a sense of joy and inspiration only to be bullied and beaten again.

Imagine a young man who, because of the violence and shame, considered living his life in silence concealing who he really was.

Imagine a young man barely able to speak but mumbling an anthem of hope through his own blood and tears.

Imagine a young man paralyzed by fear and unable to feel, but step by step he knew there was something inside him.

Imagine a man chasing that feeling he felt on stage for decades.

Imagine a man who was denied a proper education by teachers that didn’t protect him, who has achieved success; a man who had a million dreams come true but still only felt the pain and emptiness of a sad young boy.

Imagine a man three decades later, having worked with music royalty, creating a multi-million dollar business just so he could recapture that wondrous life changing experience of a 15 year old boy, over and over again.

Imagine a man who has come full circle, turned the corner on a lifetime of fear and sadness, who is now able to embrace the past and celebrate his life.

Imagine a man who is now ready, at last, to honor and truly feel the journey that was his life and the man that inspired him.

Rick Bartalini Presents Never Surrender Foundation

Inspired by his own real life events and the words and music of

Corey Hart


Corey Hart & Rick Bartalini

Live Concert Photography: Vanessa Leclair
1985 Portrait Photography: Erika Gagnon
2016 Portrait Photography: Marc Lostracco

The Never Surrender Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit private foundation that works to inspire and empower at risk youth in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

A world where every LGBT person has the basic human right to be who they are and love who they want to love without fear.


All donations to the Never Surrender Foundation are tax deductible. We do not share, sell or distribute donor information.