By Mark Boshnack
The Daily Star
---- — The rock ‘n’ roll stylings of Chicago will be coming to the Wright National Soccer Campus in Oneonta on July 1 for the annual Hospice Celebrity Party.
“We are extremely excited to be able to offer our supporters Chicago” for this year’s fundraiser for the Catskill Area Hospice and Palliative Care, director of development and marketing Bob Escher said.
During its 45-year history, the band has had 21 Top-10 singles, including “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?” “Beginnings,” and “Make Me Smile,” according to its website.
The doors will open at 5 p.m., with food, beverages, silent and live auctions and formalities including the awards from the morning Hospice golf tournament, until about 8 p.m. The band is expected to take the stage around 8:30 p.m., Escher said.
There are three levels of tickets. The all-inclusive, $195 tickets include food, open bar and table seating; the $125 level includes a one-hour open bar, food and table seating; and $39.50 are available for access to the concert, with concessions available.
The booking was recently confirmed, so the information is not on the website, Escher said. The day will start with a golf tournament at the Leatherstocking Golf Course in Cooperstown.
Celebrities on hand will include Oneonta High School graduate Mark May, who will bring other ESPN personnel to participate. More celebrities will be confirmed as plans are finalized.
Hospice volunteer Craig Gelbsman is once again responsible for getting a nationally known act for the event. As owner of Rage Productions, the Oneonta resident has brought acts such as Foreigner and the Doobie Brothers to the Hospice event in recent years.
Chicago will continue the classic rock sound that has been successful at the fundraisers, Gelbsman said. He got involved with helping sponsor the fundraiser, when it was just a golf tournament, about 15 years ago. The concerts were a way to take the fundraising to the next level, he said. It has been good for Hospice and for the area, opening it up to a lot of entertainment possibilities, he said.
“We wouldn’t be able to do it without him,” Escher said about Gelbsman’s efforts. This will be the event’s second year at the former Soccer Hall of Fame campus — having outgrown its previous site at Brewery Ommegang, Escher said. This has allowed it to expand and offer seating at various levels, and helps bring in more support from outside the area, he said.
Presale for returning customers and fan club members is from April 4 to 11, with ticket sales for the general public starting April 12 at www.cahpc.org or by calling 432-6773 or Ticketmaster.