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  • Lisa Starbird

Our Volunteer Host Program

Updated: May 19, 2020

In 2019, Bread & Roses Presents produced 653 shows for 32,718 audience members. Our volunteers hosted 459 of those shows, which is an amazing 70 percent! Hosts are an integral and much needed part of our volunteer team.

What does a volunteer host do? They are ambassadors of Bread & Roses as well as the eyes and ears of the producers. Since the producers aren’t able to be at every show, our hosts are there to make sure everything goes smoothly. They emcee the show, support the performer, pick up and set up a PA if needed. They do a show report with statistics, connect with the facility and support all the day of show logistics. We ask our hosts to commit to only one two-hour show a month, yet some hosts are available and willing to do more than that.


They also get to enjoy great music and have heartfelt experiences at the shows. Here are a couple of their testimonials.

“What stands out in my mind from all this is just how important Bread & Roses is … ‘Healing through Music.’ My days are much better with more music and less news. There is always music on in my background and I look forward to when Bread & Roses can once again get out there to bring live music to those less fortunate. I have only assisted in hosting two shows but it only takes one show and watching the faces of people to realize the importance of Bread & Roses.” - Host Scott DeBonville

“Every show has had that ‘awe’ moment. A moment of sheer joy and wonderment. A moment of speechlessness; of profound quietude. A moment where an audience member has been moved to tears by a song, a rendition, a performer. I am frequently moved to tears as well. I used to think it was the audience who was enriched by these performances. I have come to realize it is the performer, the host, the facility caretakers, anyone present when a performer creates this elusive, yet ethereal, brand of magic. My experiences have not been unique. Any host you speak to will share similar stories and similar experiences. We are the lucky ones. We are the witnesses to the power of music to provoke tears and the power of music to evoke awe.” - Host Tracey Rose

“As a host, I find myself in the middle of this magic as the outside world loses its grip on me if only for an hour. Focusing on small changes, I notice individual audience members begin to unfold, opening up, as if a dormant bud awaiting the sun, takes in the rain, and begins to blossom engaging with the performer. And as the performance comes to a close, we often have a chance to talk with individuals who share their insight, a special memory or thought, and sincere appreciation as we gather equipment, pack out and return to our routines beyond these doors. And I too, find myself feeling a bit lighter, a bit more grounded in the beauty of human community.” - Host Linda MacVey


Our hosts come from a variety of backgrounds and ages. We have grandma’s, grandpa’s, college students, a retired fire captain, lawyers, writers, financial analysts, musicians, artists, teachers, a regional director, recruiters, consultants, actors, world travelers, an Alcatraz docent, former board members, business owners, computer specialists, a tour manager for musicians, and some up and coming performers. Let’s introduce you to a few of them briefly.

Kurt Huget, Arthur Javier, Dennis Maggard, Steve Pickford, Crystal Baker and Beverly Rodgers are hosts as well as performers. Kurt teaches music and performs with many celebrities in the Bay Area. Arthur has played all over the world, Dennis has sailed the world, Steve comes from a musical theatrical background, Crystal sings and Beverly was in one of the first all-girl bands in the 60s called The Moppets!

John Boro, a Marin native, was a coach at Redwood High School and a basketball star who at one time was called by Sports Illustrated the sixth best player in the country!

Decorative Painter Shannon Geis donated her artistic services painting a beautiful mural at St. Anthony’s Father Alfred Center, which is one of the facilities that we serve that she first got to know as a volunteer host.

Teachers and retired teachers are many! Sally Peter has hosted over 600 shows since 1996. Ira Potovsky is 87-years-young and also volunteers feeding the homeless. Michelle Makino is a retired music therapist, Susanna Praetzel is a children’s music teacher, Leslie Lipman, Gloria Cunha and Tracey Rose are all current teachers.

Some hosts have adopted a facility that is close to their home, and often far from the office, which is really helpful. Jake Costa covers our shows at the Veterans Home in Yountville, Dawn Damas Harris covers the West Marin facilities Papermill Creek Children’s Center and The West Marin Seniors and former staff person Martha Fleischmann hosts our shows in the memory care unit at The Sequoias Portola Valley where she also lives. While many of our hosts live in Marin, we also have a team of hosts that live in San Francisco as well as on the Peninsula, as well as teams to the North and in the East Bay covering eight counties in the entire greater Bay Area.

We currently have 44 active volunteer hosts, they are; Renee Avalos, Crystal Baker, Barbara Berry, John Boro, Nancy Chetaitis, Jake Costa, Gloria Cunha, Dawn Damas Harris, Lynn Louise Davis, Dennis Davis, Scott DeBonville, Janis Delucia, David Derro, Henry & Susie Diaz, Gaby DiChiro, Michaela DiChiro, Martha Fleischmann, Shannon Geis, Sandy Gilpatrick, Kurt Huget, Judith Jaslow, Arthur Javier, Chas Kuhn, Brenda Laribee, Sarah Leipsic, Leslie Lipman, Linda MacVey, Dennis Maggard, Michelle Makino, Debbie Matson, Dennis McIntyre, Dick Miner, Sally Peter, Steve Pickford, Ira Potovsky, Susanna Praetzel, Beverly Rodgers, Tracey Rose, Sandee Rosenberg, Arlene Rudy, Danny Walcoff, Emily White and Danny Wolf.

Thank you all for being such incredible volunteers! Sharing the gift of your time and talents does make a difference and we appreciate each and every one of you.

By Lisa Starbird, Program Associate/Events Producer

Photo Credits:

1) Kurt Huget introducing the Culann's Hounds at Ohlhoff Recovery in 2007. Photo by Peter Merts.

2) Tracey Rose giving a testimonial about hosting at 2018 Circle of Advisors event. Photo by Peter Merts.

3) 2015 Host Dinner. Photo by Peter Merts.

4) Sally Peter (l) with a surprise bouquet of balloons at her 600th show at Aprendiendo Juntos/ Parent Services Project, with ED Dave Perron (center) and performer Joe Leon (r). Photo by Marian Hubler.

5) Dick Miner being presented with his Outstanding Host award by Marian Hubler at the 2018 JAM. Photo by Peter Merts.

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