Often called the Tri-State region’s “Largest Party for a Cause,” The Marge and Charles J. Schott Foundation Rockin’ at Riverfest is the Children’s Home’s marquee fundraiser. The event fuels comprehensive, educational strategies for behavioral and mental health services that the agency provides to over 14,000 vulnerable children and families each year.
This year’s event is scheduled for Sept. 5 at Anderson Pavilion in Smale Riverfront Park. “We’ll be one of the first large, in-person events. This is made possible through our partners at Anderson Pavilion by putting safe protocols in place as well as through the overwhelming generosity and spirit of philanthropy at Rockin’ at Riverfest,” says Roderick Hinton, chief administrative officer of The Children’s Home. “I’m looking forward to welcoming friends and supporters back to our region’s ‘Largest Party for a Cause.’ Neighbors helping neighbors is the bedrock of our Queen City.”
To get this party going, Rockin’ at Riverfest relies on its co-chairs, the volunteers who lead on behalf of community partners who support one of Cincinnati’s largest and oldest nonprofits.
Cincinnati Reds center fielder Nick Senzel and his fiancé, Emily, will serve as honorary co-chairs for this year’s event.
The 2021 co-chairs are:
- Mark and Sara Mercurio
- Nick and Joelle Ragland
Nick Senzel is the center fielder for the Cincinnati Reds. During the height of the COVID pandemic last year, he made a generous contribution to the CoStars preschool. This was instrumental in aiding the shift to the school becoming pandemic-certified and remaining open for first responders and essential workers.
“Cincinnati is a community that thrives on teamwork, one where people mutually support each other, so it’s only natural Emily and I lend our voices to this effort,” said Senzel. “I am very honored to be part of this organization that brings people together for a common and noble goal.”
“Last year, Rockin at Riverfest was virtual for the first time ever, and the Cincinnati community stepped up and shattered the fundraising goals for our life-changing programs,” said John Banchy, president and CEO of The Children’s Home. “We have a goal of raising $500,000 at the 2021 Schott Foundation Rockin’ at Riverfest to support the services Cincinnati’s most vulnerable populations rely on. The leadership these talented men and women bring is a game-changer, and I’m confident we’ll be successful.”
Nick Ragland is co-chair of the Board of Directors for The Gorilla Glue Company. Previously, he served as chief financial officer and co-president at Gorilla Glue. In various capacities, throughout his career, Nick has served the communities he calls home.
He is a former member of The Children’s Home’s Board of Trustees and served on the Board of The Summit Country Day School.
Currently, Nick serves on the Board of Trustees of The Canterbury School in New Milford, Connecticut, The Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame, Romeo Academy and The Cincinnati Regional Business Committee.
Joelle Ragland is the owner of Cecitino Home, an interior design company. She currently serves her community on the Board of Trustees for the SPCA Cincinnati and previously held board positions at The Summit Country Day School and 4C for Children.
“Joelle and I have always instilled to our family the importance of striving toward community betterment and securing an equitable future for our neighbors,” said Nick Ragland. “Last year, we saw in real-time how important The Children’s Home is to our community as the agency continued to serve when other support functions in our region were forced to close. Rockin’ at Riverfest enables The Children’s Home to continue their work on behalf of children and families who often have nowhere else to go for help.”
Mark Mercurio is the president and CEO of The Gorilla Glue Company. He has spent seven years working with the Ragland family to build and grow The Gorilla Glue Company domestically and internationally, starting his tenure at Gorilla in marketing and innovation.
Before Gorilla Glue, Mark spent 10 years at Procter & Gamble after starting his career at Accenture. He serves the Cincinnati community as a member of The Children’s Home’s Board of Trustees and chairs the board’s marketing committee.
Mark’s wife, Sara, started her career in publishing with Cengage Learning. After taking some time to raise their three sons, Sara has found a passion for guiding young children as an assistant teacher at Montgomery Community Church’s preschool program.
“Simply put, Rockin’ at Riverfest is a vehicle that changes lives,” said Sara Mercurio. “Mark and I are fortunate to bring together local leaders who coalesce at a singular event supporting our most vulnerable and at-risk populations. This is about securing better futures for Cincinnati.”