Concert benefits middle school science programs


(The Billy Martini Show will headline the End of Summer Music Bash, performing Saturday at the Corralitos Grange Hall. Contributed photo)

CORRALITOS — When a beloved middle school science teacher died in a car crash in January 2017, her family organized a concert in her honor to raise funds for local teachers.

The concert returns on Saturday, complete with a new venue and a reunion of a band that hasn't performed together in 25 years.

Mary Francis was a middle school science teacher in Monterey, San Benito and Santa Clara counties. On Jan. 20, 2017, the Monterey resident was driving to school on a rainy day when her vehicle lost control and slammed into a tree. She died at the scene.

Organizer Mike Crawford, Francis' boyfriend and Corralitos resident, said holding the concert was a way for the family to deal with the loss.

"It was a good healing thing to do," he said.

The concert benefits the Mary Francis Memorial Fund, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The fund was initially established to help teachers organize field trips for their students, but has now expanded to help pay for supplies, equipment or any thing else that bolsters school science programs.

Middle school science teachers are invited to request funding through the fund's website at www.maryfrancismemorialfund.org.

Saturday's concert features Santa Cruz-based rockers The Billy Martini Show as the headline.

Opening for The Billy Martini Show will be The Shine, who will reunite for the first time in more than two decades, said Crawford, who is a member of the band.

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The End of Summer Music Bash will take place Saturday from 5-9:30 p.m. at the Corralitos Grange Hall, 165 Little Corral Way in Corralitos. Tickets are $15, and the event is open to those 21 and older.

Beer, wine and food will be available for purchase.

To purchase tickets or to donate, visit maryfrancismemorialfund.org.


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