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    Dan Ashley’s Rock The CASA: Five Years of Helping Bay Area Children in Need

    One of the most magical and memorable events of late winter is Dan Ashley’s Rock The CASA, an evening of music benefiting children in need. This year’s fundraiser, which will be held on March 2 at the Lesher Center for Performing Arts in Walnut Creek, will feature music legend Patti LaBelle!

    Lesher’s intimate Hofmann Theatre has just 785 seats, and therefore allows for a more up close and personal experience for all attendees. Consider that the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco has 2203 seats. The Castro Theatre has 1400 seats. Those are both beautiful venues that offer good views of the stage, so just imagine how amazingly intense it is to see world class performers at the Lesher, which is just an easy and short (about 9 minutes, no hills) walk from the Walnut Creek BART station.


    Now in its fifth year, Rock The CASA combines Ashley’s passions in music, philanthropy, community and helping children. We can vouch for Ashley’s love of family and music, as he and his talented band played in our 2018 San Francisco Bay Times-“Betty’s List” Pride Parade contingent. At least one of his sons was there too, clearly proud of his dad and helping out in any way possible.

    The inaugural Rock the CASA concert was held in June 2015 and was billed as “an evening of music to support children in need.” That night, before a capacity crowd, legendary rocker Eddie Money took the stage. The night was an overwhelming success and set the groundwork for the next concert in March of 2016. That night, multi-platinum band REO Speedwagon performed for a sold-out concert experience not typically seen in Walnut Creek. Together, those first two events raised over $150,000 for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Contra Costa County and Friends of Camp Concord (FOCC).


    Rock The CASA is a California nonprofit public charity founded by Ashley for the purpose of benefiting charitable organizations that serve children in need.


    This year’s beneficiaries are the following:

    CASA of Contra Costa County

    CASA’s program recruits, trains and supports volunteers who advocate for the best interest of abused, neglected and abandoned youth in the foster care system. Each year, nearly 1,000 youth, from the ages 0–21, come into the foster care system and are under the court’s care because they are unable to live safely at home. On average, CASA serves 150 of the toughest cases or 15% of these youth at risk.

    Since 1982, CASA volunteers have been the voice in court and represented the best interests of thousands of abused, neglected and abandoned youth. Most importantly, CASA volunteers stay with each case until it is closed and the youth is placed in a safe, permanent home.

    Friends of Camp Concord

    FOCC was established in 1983 and is dedicated to raising funds to give underprivileged youth one of the most meaningful camp experiences available and does so in one of the most beautiful settings in the world: Lake Tahoe. Through FOCC, kids get to spend a week in the wilderness, participate in activities that emphasize safety, health, education and character development.

    Some of the kids have never left their urban and suburban environments. Camp Concord opens a new world to them—swimming in the lake, fishing, hiking, horseback riding and boating. The activities are specially designed to provide challenges, promote teamwork and social skills, and build self-esteem. One of the best things about Camp Concord is that no one—not even the counselors—know which kids are on FOCC scholarship. They are simply “campers” for the week. FOCC believes every child in our community, regardless of financial ability, should have the opportunity to spend a week at a camp like this.

    Boys & Girls Club of Contra Costa County

    Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s research shows that young people who attend a Club regularly tend to do better than their peers nationally. For instance:

    • 68% of Club 12th graders volunteer at least once per month, while 39% of 12th graders nationally do so.
    • 27% of Club girls in middle school are physically active each day, compared with 23% of middle-school girls nationally. 42% of Club boys in middle school exercise daily, while 37% of middle-school boys nationally do so.
    • 73% of low-income Club members ages 12 to 17 who attend the Club regularly report receiving mostly As and Bs, compared to 69% of their peers nationally.
    • 12th-grade Club members are more than twice as likely to express an interest in a STEM career as 12th graders nationally (56% of 12th-grade Club members vs. 25% of 12th graders nationally).

    Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area

    For more than 100 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters has operated under the belief that inherent in every child is the ability to succeed and thrive in life. As the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, Big Brothers Big Sisters makes and monitors meaningful matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”), ages 6 through 18, in communities across the country. Big Brothers Big Sisters develops positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people.

    As Ashley says, “A lot of people do well; the truly fortunate do good.” We all have a chance to give back to the community by helping some of the most vulnerable among us, and while also enjoying a great evening of music. For more information about Dan Ashley’s Rock The CASA and to purchase tickets:


    Dan Ashley Spends Some Quality Time with Patti LaBelle

    In November of last year, ABC7 News anchor Dan Ashley got to spend some time in Las Vegas with music superstar Patti LaBelle. She was performing nearby in Primm, Nevada.

    She and Ashley met at the Wynn Hotel & Casino a couple hours before her concert to sit down for an interview and a promo video shoot for her upcoming performance at Rock the CASA. A few of the promos are online, such as this one at YouTube:

    Rock the CASA has sold out four years in a row, and is expected to do so for 2019’s event as well. Don’t miss out!