Q: What’s your role and why did you want to be involved in the Broad Street Bash?
A: I'm the head clown (laughs.) I'm the co-chair with Adriane Scherrer. My role is making sure the event is ready for the crowd when it gets there. I take care of all of the social media aspects. I also oversee a lot of what is taking place at the event.
Q: Why did you want to volunteer your time with the Bash, and why is it a good fit for you?
A: It goes back to the beginning. When this thing first got off the ground, it was the brain-child of Jim Wendel. He's a good friend of mine and a local businessman.
It happened in and around the time when AK Steel had the lock-out with their employees. A lot of people don’t realize this, but the big recession we had nationally, and recently came out of — Middletown started a year early. With the lock-out, there were a lot of economic clouds over the town. Jim came to me. He said this lock-out is impacting everything about Middletown, including my business. It effects the economy and people that work here. Things were not good. So, we thought, what can we do to improve the lives of everybody during these sad economic times?
We patterned the whole thing after Cincinnati’s Party in the Park. So, Jim, Adriane and I started the Broad Street Bash based on Jim’s original idea. Initially, I think we had a $2,000 donation from a business, and we got everything started.
All the bands played for free. The sound engineers worked for free. We had one food vendor, and we sold beer, soda and water. In the four shows we had in the first year, we started seeing people show up. There were about 500 people that attended the first show, and we had a couple hundred more the show after that. It was cool. We weren’t even thinking we’d take it into a second year. Then, everybody came back and said let’s make it bigger and better.
I volunteer for a lot of stuff, but this is the one thing where, if we can make a couple hundred people happy on a Wednesday night, and forget about their troubles for a while, then it’s well worth my time and effort.
Q: What are some of the aspects you enjoy the most about it?
A: I enjoy the fact that it is so diverse. We cross all boundaries at the Broad Street Bash in Middletown. We have the average working Joe's turnout, we have doctors, lawyers and nurses and business people that show up. You name it. People come from all walks of life and backgrounds. I enjoy seeing everyone coming together, participating in what we have to offer at the Bash.
Q: What are some other things you are involved in within the community?
A: One of the things we've been working with in the last five years is an awareness group called Spotlight on Heroin Addiction. Adriane Scherrer and I got this started. We've had two benefits in the past couple of years called Bash Heroin, where we've raised money for Sojourner Recovery Services in Hamilton. That's one thing that we as a Bash team have supported. We've given our time, energy and efforts to raise money to help with Sojourner's, and to get the word out — that if you have an issue with Heroin, here's where you need to go — it's more of a resource for rehab. We were doing this before it became the crazy epidemic that it is today. We started participating five years ago. Spotlight on Heroin Addiction is a booth we have set up at every Bash. People can go, and sign the board and write whatever is on their hearts. That's one of the things that's happened behind-the-scenes, that has impacted me, is our involvement, and my involvement in hearing all the stories from people that are going through some hard times, because of a heroin addiction.
Q: Do you have any special memories from the Bash, or a favorite concert?
A: I have a couple favorite concerts. One is Mr. Speed. They are a Kiss tribute band from Cleveland, Ohio. We probably had them in concert about five years ago. They come in full costume, and they put on a show. There are kids that come dressed like Kiss, and adults that are dressed like Kiss. You'd think the real thing had hit Middletown, Ohio. That is probably one of my favorite shows we've ever had.
Another show that stands out is The Jake and Elwood Blues Revue, a Blues Brother’s tribute, which I’m partial to, because one of the lead singers Woody “Jake” Campbell is my nephew, who passed away. Woody died suddenly at a young age. If you’ve seen them or the movie, “The Blues Brothers,” they had an eight-piece horn section, and they were fantastic. Everybody loved them. The two times they performed, the crowd went crazy. The Jake and Elwood Blues Revue is probably one of my favorite memories of any Bash we’ve had. Everybody in town remembers Woody Campbell. He played with a lot of different bands in town, and that’s one of them that he was known for.
Q: Many people see you as one of the faces behind the Bash. What do you do as your “day job?”
A: I'm a district sales manager for HER Realtors. Our office is in Middletown. I sell real estate. I've been doing that for 39 years.
Q: What’s your favorite part about being a Realtor?
A: My favorite part about being a realtor is I don't sell houses, I develop relationships with people, which are often lifelong relationships. If you treat people right and fair in any business, they'll come back to you. I have a knack for relationships in business, and that has supported me since I was 20 years old.
Q: Anything else you’d like to share?
A: The next Broad Street Bash concert is the night of The Menus show, on Wednesday, Aug. 9, and it's Tutu Night. Everyone is supposed to wear a tutu. I don't know if there's a world record for the number of tutus at a show, but we're definitely going to go for that record, or start a new one. In case you forget yours, they will be selling tutus the night of the concert for $3.
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