Every year for the past 10 years, Jack Baker’s Wharfside Restaurant and Patio Bar has hosted Patio Palooza, a fundraising concert held on the second Wednesday of September for a charity near and dear to the performers’ hearts. This year, with the concert falling on 9/11, The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation was chosen for its dedication to helping and remembering the lives of first-responders who were lost that day, and those who continue to put themselves at risk for the sake of others.
“Between our staff and the bands, they read about this charity and thought it would be the best fit, especially since it landed on September 11, so we wanted to do something that was important to victims and first responders,” said Kim Scarpati, director of marketing for the Patio Bar’s parent company, Chefs International.
Through donations, The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation helps build 100 percent mortgage-free “smart homes” for injured service members and provide a support system for the surviving families of lost law enforcement, firefighters, and emergency personnel. In September 2018, the foundation launched its Gold Star Family Home Program, which “honors the legacy of those who made the ultimate sacrifice” by, again, providing mortgage-free homes, but this time to surviving spouses with young children of those who lost their lives in the line of duty.
Last year, the Patio Palooza raised and donated $12,000 to Mary’s Place, a nonprofit supporting women undergoing cancer treatment.
“We just want to beat last year. Every year we outdo ourselves from the previous year, so it’ll be awesome to beat the $12,000 we raised last year,” said Ms. Scarpati.
“This show doubles as an end-of-summer-party, so we already have a lot of excitement. Now that we’ve gained momentum from our previous Patio Paloozas, people look forward to extending their summer just a little longer, while coming out for a great cause.”
The show will run from 4 to 10 p.m., and the full lineup for the evening includes: The Mike Dalton Band; NJ Party Band; Naked Apes; Matt Hoffsinger; Brue Crew; The Amused; Living Proof; The Ruckus; Eddie Testa; E Street Shuffle; Phil Engel; Captain Eric & The Shipwrecks; Joe Baracata: Enjoy; Undisputed; The Snakes; The Getdown Committee; Friendzonerich Meyer; The Jersey Players Horn Section; Sound & Lights; Tri State Entertainment; and Todd Silverman.
Patio Palooza began when Mike Dalton, of The Mike Dalton Band, had been at Wharfside Patio Bar listening to his friend, Jamie Brown play, and got up on stage with him to jam on a couple of songs.
According to Ms. Scarpati, Manager Mark DuBois was talking to Mr. Dalton afterwards, and said that he had enjoyed the camaraderie between the musicians, and would like to see more of it. They then decided it would be a fun idea to have a full night of live music, incorporating all the Patio bands, and Patio Palooza was born.
Mr. Dalton said the fundraiser is important to him for two main reasons.
“This is an opportunity for all of us to get together for six hours and just all jam together for once. We all work hard over the summer and play a lot. It’s the end of the summer for us. We’re all playing so much, we don’t get to see each other as much, so it gives us a chance for all of us to get together and hear each other and play with each other.
“The second reason, is because we raise a lot of money for a lot of important causes, and that matters the most to me.”