Community members braved the heat to take in acts like the Kick-Boxing Chimp-a- Zoids, which is made up of KBCZ hosts, at Junction Park in Boulder Creek, on Aug. 13. Many took a dip in the San Lorenzo River. — Drew Penner/Press Banner

The tie-dye and classic rock shirts abounded. Punk and heavy metal riffs wafted through their air. People of all ages beat the heat by plunging into the San Lorenzo River.

It was all part of the fun at Junction Park in Boulder Creek on Aug. 13, as KBCZ 89.3 FM held its big annual fundraiser, to keep their station on the air for another year.

“It’s a nice way to spend a day in the park,” said Rich Mulnick, 56, of Boulder Creek, sitting at the picnic table he visits frequently. “The first band was a good folk guitarist.”

Cathy Hamilton, 68, another Ben Lomond resident, said because she hasn’t been traveling much recently, she’s mostly been enjoying local musicians—and Aug. 13 was no exception.

She typically likes to go to events like the Redwood Mountain Faire and Santa Cruz Mountains Sol Festival.

“I’ve been to a lot of concerts,” she said. “That’s why I have a hard time hearing.”

She said she was definitely enjoying the fundraiser. Though she admits to not being a regular listener of the station, she promised that after the event she’s going to give that a try.

Bands on the bill included Ancestree, Jake Neilsen’s Triple Threat, Kick-Boxing Chimp-a- Zoids and Cement Ship.

Terisa Davis, 53, used to listen to NPR all the time. But she felt the news on those airwaves was getting too depressing.

“KBCZ, they have good tunes, man,” she said. “I put it on while I’m working.”

She sat with her dog Watson, a 10-year-old terrier mix, close at hand.

“It’s a great way for our community to connect,” she said. “Dogs, people, music, food. What more could you ask for?”

Kim and Chris McCann, of River Dogs, served up hotdogs to customers.

“We love KBCZ,” Kim said. “Chris was a big supporter of them before he started River Dogs.”

Chris recalled how he pitched in some extra money so they could build the tower that allowed them to increase the reach of the station owned by the Boulder Creek Recreation and Park District.

“It’s amazing that a local government parks and rec district is actually putting its money into a radio station,” he said. “I’m in.”

At its core, it’s very much an independent non-commercial station, he noted.

“I’m a musician,” he said. “I’ve always played and appreciated music that is not for the money.”

Plus, he said, the station is a key resource during natural disasters.

“They’re still going when other things are closed—when there’s a fire or floods,” he said. “Online might not even work. They’re going to be able to broadcast.”

They had a good turnout coming to their booth, he noted, adding he was glad to support a station that does so much for their business.

“They pretty much rely mostly on donations from listeners,” he said. “They promote the heck out of us.”

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Drew Penner is an award-winning Canadian journalist whose reporting has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Good Times Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times, Scotts Valley Press Banner, San Diego Union-Tribune, KCRW and the Vancouver Sun. Please send your Los Gatos and Santa Cruz County news tips to [email protected].


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