CALIFORNIA FIRE FOUNDATION

 

Rock to Remember Celebrates Five Years of Giving Back

Local 3546’s annual benefit concert has helped fund college scholarships for half of a decade

For the past five years, members of San Ramon Valley Firefighters, Local 3546 have been rocking out for a good cause. 

The local’s benefit concert, “Rock to Remember,” has raised roughly $30,000 over the past five years for the California Firefighters Endowment, which is responsible for funding the Daniel A. Terry Scholarship for the children of fallen firefighters. 

The event has become a major source of funding for the endowment, but it began as simply a way to give back while having a good time. 

“It all started with a couple of us who worked in the department wanted to get people together, we played in bands and thought it be fun to maybe put a show together and maybe get people together to come hang out,” said Iain McCulloch, a member of Local 3546 and co-organizer of Rock to Remember. “It kind of evolved. We thought ‘let’s raise some money for something.’ It’s just so great to be able to give back to guys who gave the ultimate sacrifice, and be there for them, as I hope they would be there for me.”

Erik Falkenstrom, another of the events central organizers, echoed McCulloch’s statements, noting that the California Fire Foundation and its endowment were an easy choice when it came time to select a benefactor. 

“The reason we chose the California Fire Foundation, was because of their support in helping the children of fallen firefighters,” Falksenstrom said. “We chose them because they represent us overall. They’re the ones that are going to give back in the form of scholarships. It’s such a good match.”

For those that have directly benefited from the event, seeing that match in action provides inspiration all its own.

“It’s really awesome to see so many people come out and support this cause,” said Dylan Costamagna, son of fallen Fremont firefighter Larry Costamagna and recipient of the Daniel A. Terry Scholarship. “They’re out here to support people like me and others kids of fallen firefighters who are pursuing a higher education.” 

With significant backing from the surrounding communities, Rock to Remember has grown into a major success, yet McCulloch, Falkenstrom and the event’s other organizers, note that their results could easily be replicated by locals around the state willing to put the time and energy into their own fundraisers. 

“We’re no different than any other department,” McCulloch said. “In a way, we all respond to roughly the same type of calls. It’s those things, outside of work that we have time to put into, and not forget about the sacrifices that are happening across the state. You could do the exact same thing.”

For more information about selecting the California Fire Foundation as the beneficiary of your local’s next event, contact Foundation Executive Director Hedi Jalon at 800-890-3213 or hjalon@cpf.org.