For eight years running, “Mezzapalooza,” a group founded by concerned Briarcliff residents, has helped a community family needing aid after a life-changing event. It all started with their dear friend John Mezzatesta (hence the name), who died suddenly at age 38 in 2012.
All music lovers, they launched a “Battle of the Bands” concert at the Law Park Pavilion, open to all comers. It was a complete celebration of togetherness and musical kicks. Ticket sales, a silent auction, and resident donations totaled nearly $60,000, which was presented to John’s family.
Every year since, with a venue change to St. Theresa’s Gym, the addition of food from celebrated Mike’s Deli on Arthur Avenue, and an enhanced Silent Auction, they’ve honored seven other families in need. To date, their work has generated over $250,000 in crucial family support. Now, “Mezzapalooza” and Briarcliff will pay tribute to the eighth family on November 16th: The Fords.
James Ford of Pocantico Hills attended West Point, served in the U.S. Military, and was the first executive director of The Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture and a longtime member of its Board. He died suddenly at the age of 53 on June 28. His wife, Rebeca, and sons David (14) and Daniel (12), were left in reduced financial circumstances. They are most grateful for the community’s concern and assistance. The night of November 16 will celebrate James Ford’s life.
Starting at 6:30 PM on Saturday, November 16th, three bands will perform at the St. Theresa Gym at 300 Dalmeny Road. Angry Neighbor, Blame the Dog, and The Mulligans will entertain while attendees enjoy Mike’s Deli dishes and each other – and maybe win Knicks or Ranger tickets or a foursome at Sleepy Hollow Country Club. This event is a rare combination of amazing community spirit, endless entertainment, and experiencing the gift of giving back.