Kenwood dedicates, celebrates new gazebo
Residents from Kenwood and Sonoma Valley gathered on Sept. 20 to formally dedicate the Kenwood Plaza Park Gazebo and memorial shade garden to the memory of Bobby Musser-Kirby, who died in a tragic accident at the age of 5, and to Candace Serrano and Glory Whitehead, two long time residents and volunteers who passed away before their time.
The gazebo also honors other young lives lost prematurely.
The idea of a gazebo was included in the original park plans drawn up by landscape architect Don MacNair nearly 25 years ago, when an ad hoc committee formed to convert what was then a bare field used once a year for the Kenwood Pillow fights into a landscaped park for year-round use. But it was only the generous donation by the Musser-Kirby family that enabled the gazebo to be built.
“I never dreamed I would be able to actually build it,” MacNair told the crowd gathered for the noon dedication. Speakers, including First District Supervisor Susan Gorin, Sonoma Regional Parks Operations Manager Bert Whitaker, MacNair, and Bobby’s grandfather, Warren Musser, all noted the incredible outpouring of money, materials and labor that went into creating the structure. In addition, Musser beautifully described little Bobby and how much he loved to sing, dance, and dress up, making a gazebo a truly fitting tribute.
Even a casual glance at the new gazebo is enough to tell that it is a not a by-the-numbers blueprint, but a well-crafted labor of love, with hundreds of hours of volunteer labor donated by highly skilled professionals who have created a wonderful monument to lost loved ones as well as a stage for community events for generations to come.
After the dedication, the Kenwood Jazz, Blues and BBQ event kicked off, with food and spirits, splendid music and a silent auction, all of which raised approximately $9,000 for the gazebo and continuing park expenses, and that’s after paying for overhead, including some food, wine and modest stipends for the musicians. The money included about $6,600 from ticket sales, and roughly $2,500 from the silent auction, managed by the Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation.
Thanking everyone who helped make this community platform a reality is a monumental task in itself, but here’s a go at it:
The Musser-Kirby family stands out for their very generous contribution which funded the majority of the costs involved. Don MacNair was paid for some services, but put in countless hours of his own to make the gazebo far more than average. While there were many, many people donating materials and labor, several people stand out for their contributions, including Jim and Daniel Fletcher (concrete), Tom Petarian, Paul Kruzic and Jim Roach (carpentry), Gary Doty (painting), and John Benward (engineering and structure), to name just a few. (See list at end of article).
The whole village came together to put on the festive afternoon, including all four restaurants –Vineyards Inn, Café Citti, Kenwood Restaurant and Palooza – as well as wine donations from Mark Stupich and Mark Stroud. Bill Friedman (Friedman Home Improvements) donated $500 in cash for the event, Swede’s Feeds provided hay bales for seating, the fire department and Kenwood Church donated tables and chairs, Kenwood Elementary School donated auction item display plaques and clipboards, and advertising was provided by Doug del Fava and Shannon Parker, and Jon Reiter Fine Home Building.
Plaza Park neighbors and outstanding jazz musicians Robb, Oliver and Jena (Mimi) Hunt, along with Jay Bodlovich on drums and Joel Kruzic on bass guitar, provided an elegant introduction to the day, playing through lunch. Loyola music student and singer Aidan Eljumaily came home from New Orleans to contribute, singing several songs (some accompanied by dad, Nazar, on guitar).
Broadway Under the Stars co-director and star Stephan Stubbins contributed four songs to the perfect afternoon.
The blues were picked up by Jay Bodlovich’s band, Ragtag Sullivan, who played an eclectic brew of blues, rock, reggae and folk until the party ended at 4:30 p.m.
The ad hoc committee for the 2014 event included Colleen and Steve Rose, Don and Amy MacNair, Paul Kruzic, Helena Duffy, and Jay Gamel.
The following people and organizations were instrumental in
the construction of the Kenwood Gazebo:
Jim, Cathy and Catie Fletcher, Concrete Installation
Gary and Gina Dahl, (Devincenzi Concrete), Concrete Supplies
Daniel Fletcher, Concrete Installation
Ian MacNair, Labor: All Phases
Jim and Kristy MacNair, Labor/Plant Design
John and Laura Benward, (John Benward Company), Heavy Equipment and General Engineering
Tom Petarian, Carpentry
James Roach, Carpentry and Electrical
Ian Burns, (Ahlborn Structural Steel), Structural Steel and Steel Railings
Tom Ahlborn, (Ahlborn Structural Steel), Structural Steel and Steel Railings
Dennis Fagent, (ZFA), Structural Engineering
Stephan Tonelli, (Superior Supplies), Concrete Supplies
Gary Luce, (Simpson Sheet Metal), Copper Flashing
Gary Doty, (Stroke n Kote), Painting and Paint
Phil Wyatt, (Wyatt Irrigation), Irrigation Supplies and Gopher Netting
Castle Concrete Pumping, Concrete Pumping Services
Ed Grossi, (Sweet Lane Nursery), Two Tricolor Beech Trees
George Marinkovich, (West Coast Reinforcing), Steel Reinforcing for concrete
Paul Kruzic, Columns, Finish Work and Materials
Steve Berlin, (Berlin Masonry), Stone Installation
Jeff Knepper, (SBI Materials), Masonry Materials
Ron and Chris Mickleson, (Half Moon Bay Nursery), Plant Material
Tim Mathison, (Adobe Lumber), Lumber
Jim Geib, (Geib Ranch), Tractor Loan and Operator
Keith Kunde, (Dirt Farmer & Company), Tractor Loan
Jon Reiter, (Reiter Fine Home Building), Saw Loan
Ewing Philbin (Ross Recreation), Benches
Tim Holmes, (Rotary Club of Glen Ellen-Kenwood), Volunteer Labor
Fred Hanker, (Delta Bluegrass), Sod
David Fazio, (Sonoma Mission Gardens), Plant Material
Robin Hill, (Hill House), Heavy Equipment Loan
Patrick Williams, (AAction Rents), Equipment
Jim Strand, (In Stone), Stone Etching
Chris Marshall, (GAF Roofing), Roofing
Bob and Janet Uboldi, Tractor Loan
Rick Smandra, (Kenwood Fence Company), Construction Fencing
Jason Olson, (Allied Building Materials), Roofing
Nathan Ducharme, (Capstone Roofing), Roofing Installation
Charles Cates, (Village Nurseries), Plant Material