As Scotts Valley Kiwanis Club member Mike Rein arrived at the organization’s big fundraiser, held this year at Siltanen Park due to renovations at Skypark, he was nervous.
“We were very worried because we’d never done it at Siltanen Park,” he said. “No one wants to have a party where no one shows up.”
The club normally hosts three events throughout the summer and raises $20,000, which it uses to fund youth music programs.
This year, due to Covid-19, the group had scaled back to just a single concert in the fall.
“By 12-noon it was already getting busy, and the first band didn’t start until 1[pm],” he said. “I knew we were going to have a good day.”
A core group of 10 or so Kiwanis members had begun to filter in around 7:30am and would work until around 8:30pm, making Music at Siltanen Park a reality.
Volunteer high school students sang the national anthem.
The club raised $2,000 on their half of a 50/50 draw; then the winner turned around and donated half of their take—meaning the Kiwanis netted $3,000 on that activity alone.
The participants were on board with the mission, too, Rein said.
“The bands practically do it for free,” he said. “They really bend over backwards for us.”
The Circle K group of college students also made a big difference in running the event, according to Rein.
“The best part of it all is it’s a really good community event,” he said. “And we even had activities for the kids.”
In the end, the group was able to net more than $15,000, which Rein considers a gigantic success.
“We ran out of food, beer and wine by the end of the last band’s performance,” he said. “We sold out of everything.”
The event was the culmination of about 10 months of organizing.