Day on the Ridge

Annual fundraiser supports St. Joseph’s general fund

NO WAY OUT The headliner at St. Joseph’s annual fundraiser, Day on the Ridge, Starship keeps a captive audience.

With an entire wall of his office is adorned with eclectic guitars it was more than apparent that the director of St. Joseph’s Family Center (SJFC), David Cox, is an avid music lover. So why did the idea of a daylong music concert as an SJFC fundraiser cause him concern?
Last year Cox was approached by long time Gilroy residents Brenda and Shawn Chizanskos who proposed organizing the music venue, ‘Day on the Ridge’, their scaled down version of the popular ’70s, ‘Day on the Green.’

“When I first heard about it I was a little worried because we’ve, (SJFC), always had control, we’ve always been the ones handling every aspect,” Cox said.

The Chizanskos’ and Cox have known each other for years, and for years the couple has been impressed with the contributions he and his team have accomplished at SJFC over the past 18 years.

“We’ve seen first-hand, it’s phenomenal, there’s just no words for it,” Brenda said—devising a way to fund more of SJFC’s efforts. “They have their hands in so many things, toy drives, turkey drives, food pantry, just everything.”

The couple’s friends and community members were also impressed. A number of them eagerly joined the Chizanskos’ to create a board of volunteers to assist the couple in organizing the first, “Day on the Ridge,” last July.
The commitment and dedication of Shawn and Brenda, along with their board, were all the proof Cox needed to ease his initial concerns.
“If you would see their committee in action there’s always a tone of levity and fun but very serious,” Cox said. “This is no nonsense accountability, let’s get stuff done. I’ve been doing this for 30 years and I’ve never seen boards act this committed.”
That commitment paid off when a check for more than $40,000 dollars, the events’ proceeds, was presented to Cox last July.
For the Chizanskos’, there was never any hesitation regarding reprising the event in 2018.
“After the event, I got like hundreds of thank you emails from people that attended and some of the people that heard about it,” Shawn said, adding that was a great motivator to do it again this year.

According to Vicky Martin, Director of Community Engagement at SJFC, last year’s event was the, “largest fundraiser we ever had.”
“And we’re looking for it to be even bigger this year,” Martin said.
Cox is equally as excited about this year’s “Day on the Ridge, scheduled for Sunday, May 27, from 2-11pm. The venue will feature a variety of musical talent, including the headliner, Starship, who will close out the night with a 9pm performance.
“It’s going full tilt, all the way, pedal to the metal,” Cox said. “It’s quality too. There are no shortcuts here. Not with the talent that’s coming, not with the food that’s being served, and not with the atmosphere.”
Thanks to the generosity of local vendors, including West Side Grill, the Milias, Maurizio’s in Morgan Hill, Danny’s, Dave Bozo Catering, Nob Hill, and others, this year’s event is ramping up to not only meet last year’s expectations, but exceed them.
“This is what’s so great about being in Gilroy and a small community, and David having so many connections in the community,” Brenda said.
“Because everyone is willing to step up and help. We have gotten close to twice as many sponsors as last year. We have more visibility with posters and flyers. The word is out, now we just need to sell tickets.”

In addition to Starship, four other bands will be performing throughout the event, Vegas McGraw, The Police Experience, Stealin’ Chicago, and South Bay Dub Allstars.
The bands will take a break but the music won’t. Renowned disc jockey, DJ Ponce will be spinning everyone’s favorite tunes all throughout the nine-hour event.
“There’s all kinds of fun games that people can participate in, and I think what’s really nice too, is that it’s a come and go event,” Cox said. “If they want to, (they can) come for a couple of hours and then maybe go home and clean up, and then come back.”
Guests are encouraged to bring their own beverages and meals, but the option to purchase food and drinks is also available. Takoz Mod Mex’s and Smoked Out BBQ food trucks will be on hand. Complimentary beer will be provided by Palmia beer, and select wines from local wineries will also be on hand.
Of course music is the main attraction for this one of a kind event but guests are also invited to take part in sand volleyball games, or take a leisurely inner tube ride in the in-ground pool while being serenaded by great music from great bands.
And if that isn’t enough incentive to attend, there will also be games like corn hole and bag toss, giant beer pong and regular beer pong.
As far as Brenda’s concerned, “there’s absolutely no reason not to buy a ticket.”
“On our website, it says it’s a concert with a conscience,” Brenda said. “It’s a donation for St. Joseph’s and it’s a fabulous cause.”
Shawn considers the event a celebration.
“A celebration for St. Joseph’s Center, thanking the people that are on the front lines.”
As for Cox, he believes that as much as people will be participating in this event for St. Joseph’s, it’s really because of the Chizanskos’.
“It’s really about them, their friends and their connections making this happen and the effort and love they’ve bestowed upon our agency,” Cox said.
Brenda was quick to add.

“And we’re doing this with the love and admiration we have for you, and what you do.”


Day on the Ridge

Sunday, May 27, 2018.

Tickets can be purchased by visiting:
The event takes place at a private residence in Eagle Ridge. All guests will be shuttled from Solorsano Middle School’s parking lot on Santa Teresa to the event location.


Kimberly Ewertz
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About Kimberly Ewertz
Kimberly Ewertz is a freelance writer for South Valley magazine and Gilroy Dispatch.