The Kenwood Press
News: 03/01/2018

Funky Fridays founders feted

bill myers gets award for funky friday
On Feb. 24, Kenwoodian Bill Myers (center, in green) and Linda Pavlak (not pictured) were honored for their work on Funky Fridays on behalf of local parks. (From left) John Ryan, volunteer coordinator for Regional Parks; Bert Whitaker, director of Regional Parks; honoree Bill Myers; Melissa Kelley, executive director of the Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation; David Robinson, Regional Parks manager; and Susan Bryer-Shelton, former fund development associate for the Parks Foundation.

Back in 2013, Kenwood residents Bill Myers and Linda Pavlak founded the outdoor music festival Funky Fridays as a way to raise money for local parks. Since that time, Myers and Pavlak have produced 75 summer concerts with local bands, and raised $280,000 for county parks, all with a volunteer staff.

Funky Fridays is held on the grounds of Hood Mansion off of Pythian Road, below Hood Mountain Regional Park. These Friday night events involve a range of time-consuming tasks, from booking the bands and selling tickets, to arranging for food and beverage trucks. Over the last five years, thousands of people have attended the shows.

Myers and Pavlak were honored on Feb. 24 for their thousands of hours of volunteer work. They are the 2017 Sonoma County Regional Parks recipient of the 2017 California Parks & Recreation Society Community Service Award. An awards ceremony was held that evening at the Windsor Community Center. Myers accepted the award for he and Pavlak, who was not able to attend.

In announcing the award, California Park & Recreation Society representative Cindy Bagley said, “Bill and Linda are cherished members of our community and their extraordinary volunteerism on behalf of Sonoma County parks makes them more than deserving of this community service award.”

Bagley said Funky Fridays not only raises money for parks, but also provides an upbeat music experience for the community, as well as raises awareness of Hood Mansion, one of Sonoma County’s oldest masonry buildings. Hood Mansion is named for William Hood. Hood built the house in 1858 for his new bride, Eliza Ann Shaw.