Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, Smokey Robinson, and The Ghost Hounds Play Backyard Fundraiser for UPMC Children’s

Legendary rockers Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo.

Legendary rockers Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo headline the Friday night lineup.

Wouldn’t it be great if someone you knew had a big backyard, and they wanted to hold a charitable fundraiser with big name entertainers? And they knew legendary concert promoter Rich Engler? Well, that’s exactly what’s been happening for the last seven years at the home of Patrick and Debra Hampson in Gibsonia. Past entertainers have included Peter Frampton, Lou Gramm and Foreigner, KC and the Sunshine Band, Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire, Grand Funk Railroad, The Temptations, and The Jacksons.

This year the Celebrity Care Fest, presented by HM3 Partners, has been extended to three days. A celebrity golf outing and dinner at Treesdale Country Club tees off the festivities on Thursday, July 25. Benefiting charities for the Thursday event are the Mel Blount Youth Leadership Initiative and The Jerome Bettis Bus Stops Here Foundation.

The concert fun starts Friday, July 26 evening with an optional dinner on a covered courtyard at the Hampson home. Queen V (Bill Cowher’s wife), a talented singer-songwriter who’s a mainstay on the New York City music scene and has opened for many big name entertainers including Bon Jovi, Twisted Sister, Billy Idol, and Alice in Chains, kicks off the music. Following her is the Friday night’s headliner, 2022 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Pat Benatar, and soulmate/bandmate Neil Giraldo. Friday and Saturday nights’ proceeds benefit UPMC Children’s Hospital.

Queen V, straight from the hot New York City music scene, opens the Friday night concert.

Queen V, straight from the hot New York City music scene, opens the Friday night concert.

Saturday night July 27 starts with a strolling dinner, then the music kicks off with Pittsburgh-based super group, The Ghost Hounds. The band recently opened for The Rolling Stones in Cleveland. Next up will be the coolest of the cool, Smokey Robinson. Smokey’s wife is from Pittsburgh and they are part time-residents of our fair city. Robinson is a legendary Motown performer and also a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee. The headliner is a high-energy, Latin American rapper, whose name shall not be listed in public media due to this being a charity event and he will be performing in the Pittsburgh area in a few months (psst, to see his name follow the link below to the Celebrity Care Fest web page). Saturday night also features a fireworks finale after the headliner.

They don't come any smoother, or talented than Smokey Robinson.

They don’t come any smoother, or talented than Smokey Robinson.

There are many different levels of tickets and sponsorships available. From single event tickets to options including dinner, open bar, and other VIP accouterments. Catering is provided by Walnut Grill. Businesses and individuals can also support the event through numerous branding and signage sponsorship opportunities. For tickets and more information on all these various options see the Celebrity Care Fest website

Building the Concert Lineup 

Engler, who has promoted over 6,000 concerts including The Rolling Stones, The Who, Bruce Springsteen, Pink Floyd, Elton John, and countless others, spoke with Entertainment Central in regard to the event. “Patrick and Debra Hampson have a great location and a wonderful spot for an event like this,” he said “They had me come and walk the property with them and they always had a vision of having major talent there and I told them that’s definitely a reality. And then I started with different combinations [of groups]. This year they really wanted to step it up and make it extremely special.”

The Ghost Hounds have been making a name for themselves nationally over the last few years.

The Ghost Hounds have been making a name for themselves nationally over the last few years.

When I asked Engler how he landed such big acts for a backyard party, he said that it was due to several things: it’s for UPMC Children’s Hospital, his concert promotion contacts, and the fact that he has a good reputation for treating performers well. He said that the HM3 Partners Board gives him a wish list of who they would like to see perform. “Pat Benatar has been on the list for a couple years, but last year she was on a west coast tour and wasn’t available,” he said. 

Engler also wanted people to know that this event will be like going to a party in The Hamptons (Long Island beach communities) and that if you want to see the performers right up close or if you want to watch from 40 feet back, or stroll around, all are fine. It is an intimate affair. There is free parking via a limo bus. Dressy casual attire is encouraged. Location for the event is 405 Avonlea Court, Gibsonia.

Strong Track Record of Fundraising

All proceeds from both nights benefit UPMC Children’s Hospital Foundation. The HM3 and Good Fund board of directors have agreed to match all sponsorship funding for the first $1 million dollars of sponsorships to the Friday and Saturday events. To date, the HM3 Partners Independence Fund board members have donated or raised more than $2 million dollars for various worthwhile charitable organizations.

Rachel Petrucelli, UPMC Children’s Hospital Foundation President, added, “We’re so deeply appreciative to be selected as the beneficiary of Celebrity Care Fest. HM3 Partners Independence Fund is built of wonderfully generous people, and they have uniquely created this exciting week of entertainment and giving. What an honor to be a part of it all.”

The HM3 Partners Independence Fund, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit tax-exempt organization established in 2014 and is in Gibsonia (PA). It was created for the benefit of community organizations, groups, and individuals involved in the advancement of causes honoring and supporting our Country, our Communities, and Caring for others less fortunate. HM3 Partners Independence Fund, Inc. board members include Kevin Colbert, Patrick Hampson, Paul Mango, Tom Merhaut, Larry Richert, Steven J Simmonds Sr., and Michael Young, along with Honorary Board Member Steve Patricia.

Rick Handler is the executive producer of Entertainment Central.


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