Each year since 2009, The Heidi Brunk Foundation has been able to offer the chance of a scholarship to more and more students from area high schools so they can pursue their education in music and the arts.
“We are looking for people who are engaged in music and will continue their education in music,” said Jim Brunk, husband of the late Heidi Brunk.
The foundation is funded through the Sierra View Music Fest, which takes place this year on Saturday, Aug. 27, bringing both renowned performers and local acts to the stage in Oakdale. The festival was started in 2009 as a way to honor the memory of Oakdale resident Heidi Brunk – a wife, mother, and music teacher who had a passion for music and teaching. She sang with popular local band Remedy and also sang in a local trio known as The Songbirds. She passed away tragically in 2008, but her passions for music and teaching live on through The Heidi Brunk Foundation.
“The Sierra View Music Fest is our way of generating funds to give to students from the Central Valley area,” Jim Brunk said. “We are excited to bring the ‘big sound to a small town’ and ask and need the continued support of the community.”
He pointed out that the amount of money they offer in scholarships is determined by the turnout and general admission at the music festival. At first, the scholarships were $500-$600, Brunk said. More recently, they’ve been $1,100-$1,200. The first year, the foundation offered one scholarship, the next year it offered four, then it awarded five the following year.
“Because of Heidi’s love for music, we decided this is the best way,” Brunk said of the music festival. “This is in her memory and we’re doing this for the kids because she felt so strongly that the kids needed this in school.”
Organizers have a goal of raising $25,000 for the 2012 Heidi Brunk Memorial Scholarship Fund. The Oakdale High School recipients of Heidi Brunk Memorial Scholarships for 2011 were Kellie Brodie, Emily Wallace, and Julie Bolme. Amber Vanderford and Rachel One from Johansen High School were also recipients.
“It’s neat to see they’re getting out of school, doing music, and they might hit it,” Brunk said.
The prior year, Oakdale’s Todd Medema, Baylie Jimenez and Meghann Jones received scholarships for continued education in music. Ripon student James Cwick also received a scholarship. Oakdale’s Michael Alstada was the first year’s recipient.
“Each year we would like to increase the amounts of the scholarships and also the number of the students from the surrounding schools who might receive a scholarship,” Brunk said. “…Our sights are set really high.”
He said that this year’s show pulls in the 35 to 55 year-old demographic because it’s a classic rock show with Eddie Money headlining the show. Montrose and Pat Travers will also perform as well as local bands. Brunk said that classic rock seems like a good fit for Oakdale; however, he noted that it’s possible the show could change from year to year because they are open to offering country or hip hop or whatever it is that people want.
“It’s going to be really, really dynamic,” he said, adding that the Oakdale community is always “fantastic” when it comes to helping out.
The Sierra View Music Fest is an all-day family event on Saturday, Aug. 27 at J-H Ranch, 12713 Sierra View Road, Oakdale. Gates open at 1:30 p.m. with local favorite Soul Heart starting the concert. Moonshine Bandits will then take the stage followed by Remedy, Pat Travers, Montrose, and headliner Eddie Money will start around 9 p.m. The festival wraps up at midnight.
Brunk said there will be a full assortment of food vendors on site serving up favorite fair-style foods such as pulled pork, corn dogs, cotton candy, and shaved ice. H-B will provide the bar service.
The Heidi Brunk Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and all money made will go back to the community in the form of scholarships for music students. Some of the primary sponsors for this year’s event include Haidlen Ford, Rocha’s Valley Enterprises, Masselis Drilling, Western Drywall, 104.1 The Hawk, and others.
Tickets are on sale through TicketWeb at www.ticketweb.com or by calling (209) 681-7530. General Admission tickets are $25 before the event or $35 at the gate. V.I.P. tickets are $100. For more information, go to www.sierraviewmusicfest.com.