Thanks to all of our supporters, PaxFest 2013 was a success! A beautiful day, a tribute to Paxton, and funds raised for the fight against pediatric cancer. To all who attended, volunteered, sponsored, and donated, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
2nd Annual PaxFest
to Benefit The Paxton Andrews Foundation, Inc. and The Pablove Foundation
Saturday, August 24, 2013 12:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Rotary Performance Pavilion (MAP)
The lineup for the 2nd Annual PaxFest includes the critically-acclaimed Satellite as headliner. In addition to Satellite, Milwaukee favorites Rectifier, Ivy Spokes, SlimRox and 5 Card Studs are all scheduled to perform.
The AER EEG Kid Zone will feature bounce houses, a giant slide, carnival games, balloon sculptures, face painting, funnel cakes, sno cones and more.
We will be posting more details as they come, but we can tell you that this family friendly event will have live music, food from Maxie’s Southern Comfort and Blue’s Egg, libations, special guests, a huge silent auction, PaxFest and Pablove gear for sale and hilarious shenanigans.
The Paxton Andrews Foundation, Inc. is a Milwaukee-based all volunteer non-profit organization dedicated to fighting pediatric cancer in honor of Paxton Bowe Andrews, our Peaceful Warrior. On May 8, 2012 Paxton Andrews was taken to his pediatrician for what appeared to be a common cold and possible eye infection. Hours later, doctors confirmed that three-month-old Paxton did not have a cold nor an eye infection, but a rare form of cancer. After a valiant fight, our Peaceful Warrior ended his battle with cancer on July 2, 2012. We continue the fight against childhood cancer to honor our Peaceful Angel and make him proud. More information can be found at paxlovemusic.org.
PaxFest was created to honor the memory of Paxton Andrews by fighting pediatric cancer with music. In its inaugural year, the one-day music festival raised more than $15,000 for The Pablove Foundation.
The Pablove Foundation (www.pablove.org) was founded in May 2008 by Milwaukee native Jeff Castelaz and his wife Jo Ann Thrailkill after their four-year-old son Pablo Castelaz was diagnosed with bilateral Wilms Tumor, a rare form of childhood cancer. After a valiant fight against the disease, Pablo passed away six days past his sixth birthday on June 27, 2009. Imbued with his spirit and inspired by his strength, The Pablove Foundation is dedicated to the daily, global fight against childhood cancer and the suffering that comes in its wake. The Pablove Foundation’s scientific advisory committee is comprised of the brightest minds in the pediatric cancer field, including doctors and researchers from Harvard, Duke, University of Michigan, USC, City of Hope and others.
Look at the stars, look how they shine for you
A recap of the 1st Annual Paxton’s Pablove Fest (“PaxFest”)
Previous attempts to share all the wonderful things about the First Annual Paxton’s Pablove Fest fell short for me. Much typing and deleting occurred. Now, eight days later, I will try describe how incredible the day was, but I know that it will still fall short. You have to experience it to really appreciate the day we spent celebrating and honoring Paxton’s spirit, and the night we will never forget. I’m going to give it shot.
On an unseasonably cold, wet, and blustery day, the morning began with the best volunteers I have ever worked with. They were huddling in the cold and rain when we pulled up to the site. They got to work immediately.
Within a couple hours, we had constructed festival grounds. Multicolored tents and Maxie’s “house” were ready to rock, beer taps were flowing, the stage quickly filled up with instruments, speakers and equipment, our beautiful banners were hung, DJ Paul H. had the music pumping to keep us all movin’ and shakin’. We were ready.
As Majestic Mudd took to the stage, many brave souls began to arrive with jackets and blankets and smiles on their faces. In between running around like a maniac and saying wildly inappropriate thing over the two-way radio, I’d look around to see all the cool stuff going on. In the kid’s tents: face painting, jugglers, clowns, arts & crafts, balloon animals, temporary tattoos, and just all around fun! The apparel booths both had beautiful stuff. Pablove gear, Paxton gear, and a few out of the ordinary items too!
Maxie’s and Blue’s Egg set up shop, and it was awesome: two tents serving up different menus (one of them dedicated to the kids), and larger structure they call “the house”. I cannot adequately express the generosity of Maxie’s and Blues Egg. At every turn they were offering to do more, asking how else they could help. Businesses like these make our communities better, and these are the businesses you should all want to patronize. Maxie’s, Blue’s Egg, and every business that sponsored our event were generous and extremely kind.
The Sprecher beer and soda was not only delicious, but they surprised us with a special pilsner called “Paxton’s Pils”, complete with custom designed tap handles! Everywhere I looked there were kids playing, people laughing, dancing, and having a good time. I couldn’t have been happier.
And then there was the music. It must have been the day, or maybe it was Paxton’s spirit that energized all 6 bands. They all sounded INCREDIBLE. Majestic Mudd, SlimRox, The LoveMonkeys, Rectifier, Fever Marlene, and Maritime. Every set blew me away. It was one hell of a concert! Beyond the performances, most of the musicians stayed all day and into the evening.
Not because we asked them to, but because they wanted to. I adore every single one of them. That’s one of the things I dig about the Milwaukee music scene. Not only do we have incredible talent, but our local bands have huge hearts. Thank you isn’t even close to adequate.
Our fest was beautiful, and there are so many behind-the-scenes volunteers and businesses that made it possible. Those people make me proud to be a ‘Sconnie. We are happy to report that the Fest raised more than $12,000.00 for Pablove. We are honored and grateful to everyone that came. And we are so happy that the very talented James Conway captured the event in photographs, and the brilliant crew at FlipEleven captured the day on film.
For all of you that couldn’t join us, I’m so glad that you will get a glimpse into the great day we had, complete with a FULL DOUBLE RAINBOW! (That was the moment I suddenly didn’t care about the crappy weather.)
Of all the moments that I will forever cherish, the one that stands out among the rest, the one that I will never forget, was the children creating Paxton’s heart with tea lights during the candlelight vigil. After a beautiful video tribute to our Peaceful Warrior and a special performance by members of four bands and a few team captains, we turned to see that the kids had been collecting tea lights from the adults and were building a heart on the concrete next to the stage. It may be the single most beautiful act of love I have ever witnessed, and it will live in my heart forever.
I told you this would fall short. There just aren’t enough words to describe it. So much laughter, music and dancing, kids smiling and climbing and playing together all around us, great food and libations, all wrapped up in our community’s love for one another. On September 22nd we turned Hart Park into Heart Park. Our cup runneth over.
We are already planning for next year’s Paxton’s Pablove Fest. Next year’s will be bigger and better, as it surely will for years to come. We’ll spend the next year planning and plotting and, with the help of this wickedawesome community, we’ll once again put together something amazing. We’ll be announcing a date soon, so you’ll have plenty of time to mark your calendars.
To all who shared news of our fest, played music that helped to heal hearts and get our feet moving, volunteered, sponsored, attended, bought silent auction items, and supported us in countless ways, thank you.
More photos! Again, a HUGE thank you to James Conway Photography. He captured the day beautifully.