This year’s Knuckleheads dance party on June 1st was an electrifying success!
Over 130 guests gathered to enjoy a home-cooked Mexican feast (made by our very own Mo Orpin), get down to the funky tunes of Atlantic Express, and raise over $25,000 for The Don Bosco Centers. But this annual event would not even be possible without the incredible generosity of Knuckleheads owners Frank and Mary Hicks. Not only do they let Don Bosco have the use of their indoor saloon and outdoor courtyard to host a terrific open-air concert, they also donate 100% of the ticket sales and pay for the band—with Atlantic Express themselves performing at a discounted rate!
For those unfamiliar with the concert venue, Knuckleheads is a rad music complex located in the East Bottoms. It offers several stages for music performances: a large, outdoor “Play Space” stage with VIP seating in a converted caboose on one side; an indoor saloon-style stage with a classic honky-tonk feel; an intimate, 64-seat lounge known as the “Gospel Lounge”; an industrial-style “Garage” stage across the road; and a brand new “Fender Stage” located in the Garage.
The music venue had its beginnings in 1997 when Frank ran a motorcycle shop at that location and started offering free beer and music to attract customers out to the East Bottoms. Pretty soon, folks were arriving in the thousands, so he felt it safe to start charging customers. In 2001 he started offering tacos to go with the beer, and by 2005 he was able to book some pretty big bands to play, so he closed up the motorcycle shop to dedicate his time to making Knuckleheads a concert venue.
For the past three years, owners Frank and Mary have graciously hosted this dance party/fundraiser. And what keeps the Hicks supporting us? “Because I think Don Bosco is a good deal—I like what they do,” says Frank. Mary herself grew up in the Columbus Park neighborhood and remembers going to the Don Bosco Community Center as a child.
“I love music and I like seeing people have fun,” Frank adds. “The great thing is that I can make money for you guys and everyone can have fun at the same time. It’s only a drop in the bucket, but it’s $25,000 more than you had before—and it raises awareness about what you do!”
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, Frank and Mary, for showing Don Bosco the love!