If you're looking for a guilt-free party this weekend, Freeza-Poloosa Rock Fest at Bolero Blue Water Grill in Wildwood may be just the thing.
About four years ago, John Lynch and his wife, Vicki, wanted to help a friend in need.
"There was a young girl in our community who needed a beach wheelchair," John Lynch recalls. "So we said, 'Hey, why don't we do a fundraiser in the dead of winter?'"
He picked "the deadest weekend of the year" and used the promotional skills and contacts he picked up as director of sales and entertainment at the Wildwoods Convention Center to put together a beef-and-beer fundraiser that drew about 100 people. The next year, about 1,000 people came out in a "nine-inch snowstorm" to help another Wildwoods resident fight Leukemia, and a tradition that has raised more than $70,000 to help fght cancer began.
Lynch even discovered a hidden talent.
"We have the three live bands and a small live auction, I'm actually a pretty good auctioneer," he says.
Local rockstars Funny Bone headline the musical blowout event, where bands Shoots and Ladders, made up of local cops and firefighters, and Free Grizzly Bear Rides, a bunch of recent college grads, also will play from 7 p.m. till midnight.
"Funny Bone was this unbelievable local band in the '90s and 2000s and, I'll tell you, they haven't missed a beat since. They have a great following of their own, without a doubt (there will be people there just to see Funny Bone)," Lynch says, adding that Shoots and Ladders plays golden oldies from the '70s and '80s, while Free Grizzly Bear Rides keeps on the cutting edge of today's music, "so we have these different genres of music to appeal to three different sets of people."
Funny Bone frontman Bob Maschio has leveraged his radio show, on 98.7-FM The Coast, to promote the event, which this year benefits the family of Lily "LilyBugs" Kolimaga, a 3-year old battling cancer, and the Lunch with Lynch Foundation, which "gives back to local schools in Wildwood and children in the community."
All three bands are performing free of charge.