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    Dan Ashley’s Rock the CASA Helps Youths in Need

    The headlines of late have been so disheartening, and especially concerning the threats and challenges faced by our nation’s youth. The problems often seem overwhelming and complex, with few guaranteed quick fixes in sight. It is therefore all the more important to support those who are working to improve the lives of younger generations. As the adage goes: A lot of people do well; the truly fortunate do good. Dan Ashley is one such successful and very charitable person.

    You probably know of Ashley’s work as a long-time broadcast journalist for ABC 7 News. He anchors ABC 7’s 5 pm, 6 pm, 9 pm and 11 pm broadcasts. Such a busy schedule would seem to leave little time for anything outside of work, but he is also a talented musician who heads up a namesake band and does countless hours of work for charities like AIDS Walk San Francisco, the American Cancer Society, ARF (Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, Canine Companions, Caring Bridge, the Contra Costa Crisis Center, the Faith Fancher Breast Cancer Challenge and Music in Schools Today (MUST). You can read more about Ashley’s incredible life, career and community work in our interview with him on the next page.

    When the San Francisco Bay Times was asked to help out with Dan Ashley’s Rock the CASA, we then immediately said yes. Rock the CASA is an annual benefit concert that raises money for charities supporting children. Kids today deserve the best care and the best opportunities. It is unfortunate that many children find themselves in challenging situations through no fault of their own. Rock the CASA works to relieve the burden of under-privileged homes.

    The stated mission of the event “is to provide support for community benefit programs that provide important services to youth in need. The foundation’s culture is based upon the basic belief that all youth in our community should have access to health, education, and recreational opportunities regardless of race, gender or economic status.” This year the benefit will support CASA of Contra Costa County, Friends of Camp Concord, and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Check out our piece on these three non-profits on page 17.

    But more importantly, please consider attending the event on Saturday, March 3 @ 8 pm, at the Lesher Center for Performing Arts’ Hofmann Theatre in Walnut Creek. This beautiful venue can be accessed via the Walnut Creek BART Station, which is about a 3/4-mile easy—no hills—walk away. Ashley will be debuting his incredible new band, and Melissa Etheridge is this year’s headliner! This event will provide an incredibly rare opportunity to see rock and LGBT icon Etheridge in such an intimate space. (The Hofmann Theatre holds just 785 seats.)

    As Ashley says, “Rock the CASA helps kids and we get to have a great time doing it!”

    For tickets and more information, please visit:

    Non-Profits Supported by Dan Ashley’s Rock the CASA 2018

    Dan Ashley’s Rock the CASA has raised over $150,000 to help non-profits benefitting youths. The inaugural concert in June 2015 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 event 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!

    This year, the event will support three non-profits:


    CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children. The organization’s program recruits, trains, and supports volunteers who advocate for the best interest of abused, neglected, and abandoned youth in the foster care system. Rock the CASA benefits the organization located in Contra Costa County.

    Each year, nearly 1,000 youths, from the ages of 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 individuals at risk.

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

    Ann Wrixon, Executive Director of CASA of Contra Costa County, says: “Rock the CASA is our highest visibility event—not only providing the organization with much needed funds, but also getting our name in front of thousands of potential volunteers, which is the lifeblood of our work with abused and neglected children. Most remarkably, Dan Ashley has created Rock the CASA so that it is truly philanthropic. We could not be more grateful for the support of Rock the CASA.”

    Friends of Camp Concord (FOCC)

    FOCC was established in 1983 and is dedicated to raising funds to give underprivileged youths one of the most meaningful camp experiences available, and it 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 and to 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 promote positive attributes in the participants. One of the best things about Camp Concord is that no one—not even the counselors—knows 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.

    Dave Goldman, founder of FOCC, says, “Rock the CASA’s support of Friends of Camp Concord sends underserved kids to camp at Lake Tahoe where we build trust, support anti-bullying skills and allow all kids an environment where they are on equal footing to build self-esteem, confidence and just have good old fashion fun.”

    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. The organization develops positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people.

    Here in the Bay Area, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been providing local youths with professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships in San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Francisco, Alameda, and Contra Costa counties since 1958. In March of 2006, three separate Bay Area agencies, (BBBS of San Francisco & Peninsula, BBBS of the East Bay, and BBBS of Santa Clara County) merged to form Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area (BBBSBA), in order to more efficiently serve the community and be positioned for growth to meet the increasing demand for services.

    The organization’s administrative headquarters are in San Francisco, with additional program offices in the East Bay (Oakland) and South Bay (Milpitas).