The Danville musician and board member of Community Violence Solutions was sick of the same marathon pledges and formal auctions. So he proposed a new plan: Have people pledge money to see their friends on stage, performing with a professional band.
"If you cared less about the charity you'd still have some fun," he said. "You don't have to be a millionaire, a hotshot."
First, the Silicon Valley Houserockers will perform 45 minutes of cover songs from the '60s, '70s and '80s. Then the music will be followed by a brief presentation about sexual assault and violence in Contra Costa County. Last, six "musically inclined" average Joes and Janes will become part of the band.
It all begins at 8 p.m. at the Wesley Center in Alamo next Saturday.
"I'm playing a Carlos Santana song," said John Walsh, a guitarist who has raised $1,400 in pledges. "The challenge is to come in cold, effectively with a band."
The idea is that people around town will want to come cheer on their friends, to see them in the spotlight. In turn, money will be raised and awareness will be garnered, Goeb said.
"If you've pledged a few bucks for your friend, the hope is you'll want to come see them perform," he explained.
Community Violence Solutions provides support services to child and adult victims of sexual assault and their families. It offers a crisis hotline, a counseling center, prevention services and an assault response team.
One program the organization will touch on at Rockin' for a Cause allows parents to arrange to meet with a volunteer to pick up or drop off their child, without risk of the abusive parent or spouse popping up.
"Sometimes they have to agree to transfer their kids in a parking lot at Home Depot, for example," Goeb explained. The organization helps offer a safe, neutral location for children and parents.
Volunteers are needed along with money to fund the services. Board members are hoping a few people will be inspired to volunteer on the crisis line.
The Silicon Valley Rockers is a 10-man band, complete with a five piece horn section.
"Think Chicago and Tower of Power," Goeb said.
The band's Web site boasts that it plays covers of some of the greatest rock, rhythm and blues ever recorded. Concert-goers should expect some Stones and some Springsteen.
Performers have been practicing vocals and instruments - much like training for a marathon fundraiser.
"I just learned it by ear and tried to figure the parts out," Walsh said.
The show is more of a guest artist performance than impromptu karaoke, organizers said.
"We've kind of been bending over backwards not to use the 'K' word," Goeb said with a laugh.
The performance will be held in the Wesley Center and will benefit Community Violence Solutions, formerly Rape Crisis Center of Contra Costa County.
"This year we're pulling from a different segment - people who would like to go out on a Saturday night but don't want to drive into the city," said Goeb.
Big city fun in Alamo
What: Rockin' for a Cause
Who: The Silicon Valley Houserockers and others
Benefits: Community Violence Solutions
When: 8 p.m., Saturday, March 15
Where: Wesley Center at United Methodist Church, 902 Danville Blvd., Alamo
Cost: $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and children
Box office: (510) 237-0113