Board Member Raj Gopal put on a fun evening of rock & rollin’ with music, singing, fundraising and celebration for Bread & Roses Presents on June 29 in downtown San Francisco. Fellow board member Alex Wellins and Blueshirt Group provided the venue in the Next15 building. Many of Raj's colleagues from his office a few doors down at Bank of the West attended, including Dan Beck, the bank’s CFO, who as Raj noted “knows the saxophone as well as numbers and he’s not afraid to show it!”
Raj’s concert raised money for Bread & Roses and also educated his colleagues to the mission of our organization. Bread & Roses staff Dave Perron and his wife Hilary Black, Elissa Burke and Carrie Sownie were there to cheer on the band and all the employees from the Bank of the West who came to “rock the bank.”
Raj led the band on guitar and vocals, with Dan sitting in on saxophone for a few numbers, Don on keyboard and vocals and Ryan on bass. The band played a fun repertoire of songs from the 60s, 70s and 80s. Special musical guests included Rita Carr from Bank of the West, a professional singer with a sizable following in the East Bay and former vocalist with Aretha Franklin.
Steve Bentley, who works in communications for Bank of the West, said in his blog after the event “Last evening I had the privilege of attending a special benefit concert featuring Bank of the West’s very own Head of Enterprise Risk Management, Raj Gopal. CFO Daniel Beck, Raj and friends, “the band” ushered in the evening with a stable of crowd classics. Including the Stones Satisfaction, John Denver’s Take Me Home Country Roads, The Temptation’s My Girl, Bob Marley’s Every Little Thing’s Gonna Be Alright, Three Dog Night’s Joy to the World, Ray Charles Hit the Road Jack with Bank of the West’s CFO Daniel Beck on saxophone, in addition to a moving performance of U2’s With or Without You. The evening’s performance was a fundraiser in support of Bread & Roses Presents, a meaningful organization in which Raj is proud to be associated.”
“It will be awhile before I get the image of the bankers in their suits dancing to Proud Mary out of my head,” said Raj. “We are all impressed by the number of concerts Bread & Roses presents each year for those in the Bay Area who are isolated and what you are able to accomplish with such a small staff.”
Elissa Burke, the organization’s development director, said “Congratulations on a stellar event. It was great to see you play with the full band and show off your chops. You set the gold standard for board members and everyone else in how to support our program. We are honored to have you as part of the team.”
Bread & Roses has had a long successful collaboration with Bank of the West and was the grateful recipient of their 2013 Philanthropy Award for Community Impact.
Post by Marian Hubler
Photos by Lily Ruiz: Community Affairs Communications, Bank of the West