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Annual Backstoppalooza concert strives to raise funds for local lifesavers

By: Jessica Meszaros

Backstoppalooza banner featuring “Revelation/A Tribute to Journey.”

Another summer Saturday of music and outdoor fun takes place at the 5th Annual Backstoppalooza fundraiser concert on Saturday, Aug. 26 at the Chesterfield Amphitheater, 631 Veteran’s Place Drive in Central Park. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the concert, which is free to attend and is open to the public, is scheduled for 6 p.m.

All the proceeds from event’s merchandise, food and beverages as well as concert-goer donations will benefit nonprofit BackStoppers, Inc., which provides financial aid and support to the families of police officers, firefighters, publicly funded paramedics or EMTs who die in the line of duty.

“It’s one of those things that’s always in the back of your mind,” Chesterfield Police Captain Ed Nestor said.

Nestor came up with the idea of collaborating with BackStoppers, Inc. to produce Backstoppalooza after witnessing officer deaths in surrounding community and experiencing the deaths of two Chesterfield officers from heart attacks in 2013.

“Within a month, two of our officers died of heart attacks, and BackStoppers, Inc. stepped in and assisted the families,” Nestor said. “I think when the city saw that it was the catalyst that pushed it over the top.”

About 1,000 people attended in 2013, but the event has grown to have over 4,000 attendees in 2016. Donations also grew to $60,000 for BackStoppers, Inc. in 2016. Aside from some overhead costs and rent rates, Nester said costs are low. Amenities like food and the venue are donations.

“Nobody gets paid in the organization,” Nestor said. “It’s all volunteers.”

The headlining act for the 2017 concert is Revelation/A Tribute to Journey, which hails from Kansas City. “Dog’s Breakfast”, a St. Louis-based blues-rock group, of which Nestor is a member, will open the event at 6 p.m.

The fundraiser is presented by Hesse Martone, Grey Eagle Distributing, Merrill Lynch, the city of Chesterfield, GO! Magazine, the St. Louis Post Dispatch and West Newsmagazine. Organizers include the Monarch Fire Protection District, Chesterfield Parks, Recreation & Arts, the Chesterfield Police Department and the Rotary Club of West St. Louis County.

Lawn seating for up to 4,000 people is available. Limited fixed seating is available. Concert-goers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit upon. Parking is available at locations in and around Central Park, including the main parking lot at Lydia Hill Drive and Veterans Place Drive. Street parking also is available on Veterans Place Drive, Lydia Hill Drive and Burkhardt Place Drive.

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