St. John residents and visitors flocked to Susannaberg on Jan. 15 to celebrate the work done by the St. John Cancer Fund. Cruz Bay Music hosted a free concert as part of a series of events leading up to Light Up the Night, the cancer fund’s major annual fundraiser.
Food and drink sales from the concert went towards the cancer fund and attendees were encouraged to make additional donations in exchange for signing their name or writing a short message on a heart statue.
The concert featured performances from Ballyhoo!, Bubba Love, Josiah Atchley, Mother Goat, Erin Hart, Porschia and Moss. Food was provided by Chester Mingo and the bar was managed by Will Forsythe.
Cruz Bay Music is a concert and event management company run by the duo of Andy Peter and Christie Register. The company has been in operation since 2017.
Register and Peter have worked closely with Susannaberg property owner Ronnie Jones to open the area to varying music acts and entertainers. During events Jones can often be found diligently caring for the property so that guests can thoroughly enjoy both the available entertainment and the surrounding environment. The trio also hosted the V.I. Jam Fest at the location in March 2019 and they intend to host it again this March.
The concert was meant to serve as both a fundraiser for the St. John Cancer Fund and a celebratory event to accompany the somberness of Light Up the Night.
“This concert is meant to be adjunct to Light Up the Night. We wanted to use our business to bring in some bands, make some money for the fund and offer up some food, drinks, fun and music” Peter said.
Register had a personal connection to the work done by the St. John Cancer Fund. With her history as a nurse, she had seen the obstacles faced by people with cancer and their families.
“The goal in mind was to raise as much money as possible. I’ve seen firsthand the struggle these people face” Register said.
For many in attendance, the event served as an opportunity to reflect on the ways in which cancer affected their lives. Some had lost friends and family to the disease while others attended or volunteered in honor of those still fighting. Several St. John residents attended the event in memory of musician Mike “Mikey P” Perreault who succumbed to the disease this past summer. The sense of community drove the organizers to pursue the event despite obstacles.
“Hosting an event like this in a remote location can be a challenge, but it’s great when the community gets together. It’s a lot of work, but it works out when you have a lot of friends to help. This is the first time I have had a team to work with me,” Register explained.
An additional fundraiser for the St. John Cancer Fund was hosted at The Beach Bar in the afternoon on Jan. 17. Additional information about the St. John Cancer Fund and Light Up the Night can be found on the group’s website.