Some of Chapel Hill’s Phillips Junior High alums from the 1970s and 1980s are coming together this Sunday, Dec. 11, to raise funds for low-income students who cannot afford afters-chool activities like sports, music and art. Hot local band Liquid Pleasure, which got its start at Phillips in the 1970s, will headline the fundraiser at The Strowd on 159 1/2 E. Franklin St., owned by Phillips alum Mike “Rosie” Rosenbacher.
Liquid Pleasure’s Kenny Mann Jr. spent much of his youth just a couple yards away, at 157 E. Franklin St., where his father, Kenny Mann Sr., was the chef of the legendary Rathskeller. Al Bowers, the owner of Al’s Burger Shack, recruited Liquid Pleasure to headline Sunday night’s fundraiser. “Everyone loves Liquid Pleasure,” says Bowers. “It’s going to be a great time for a terrific cause.”
It is worth noting that Bowers lost to Kenny Mann Sr. in a chili cook-off at Festifall in the late 1980s, according to Bower’s wife, Melody. “Yes, he’ll never forget that,” she notes, laughing. Al’s Burger Shack, a recent addition to the Chapel Hill restaurant scene, already is stacking up awards and rave reviews.
This party is for the benefit SKJAJA Fund, a foundation established by 1980 Phillips graduates Charlotte and Eric White, who were classmates of The Strowd’s Rosenbacher. Eric played basketball at Phillips, and Charlotte was a cheerleader. Now married with two children, the Whites started SKJAJA to assist low-income students who otherwise would not be able to afford to participate in extracurricular activities. The students “pay forward” SKJAJA’s help by volunteering in the community to help others.
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Tickets for the Dec. 11th fundraiser are available on SKJAJA Fund’s website (SKJAJAfund.org). Marketing of the event is courtesy of Phillips alum Steve Balcom of The Splinter Group.