Best Point: Fun, Food & Fireworks!

Best Point: Fun, Food & Fireworks!

It’s an annual community party guaranteed to put the “fun” in fundraiser, with all proceeds positioned to help champion area children.

Rockin’ at Riverfest, now in its sixth year, benefits Best Point Education & Behavioral Health (formerly The Children’s Home). Best Point, which currently serves more than 18,000 children and their families, provides the best network of community-based and evidence-based services to strengthen individuals and families from infancy to independence.

Matt Burcham has helped plan Rockin’ at Riverfest for the past four years and couldn’t be more pleased with how well it has been received.

“Having a front-row seat to see so many members of our community come together, not only to have fun but to also give back and support an organization that has become so dear to my heart, is incredible,” says Burcham, who works in Best Point’s Office of Advancement. 

Despite a global pandemic, the past two years’ fundraising efforts have exceeded organizers’ goals. In 2020, the event raised more than $600,000 virtually, and in 2021 it raised $596,000. Such numbers ensure that all programs and services provided by Best Point are resourced appropriately.

“Best Point is a beacon of light to our community,” says Mark Mercurio, president and CEO of Gorilla Glue, an event sponsor. “The support of this organization is truly critical.”

This year’s co-chairs are Tom Hayes, dean of the Williams College of Business at Xavier University, and his guest, Mag Gajus, who is retired from Burke, Inc. where she worked for 27 years and was vice president of Account Research Services at the time of her retirement; Ramon Rodriguez, vice president of wealth management at Fifth Third Bank, and his wife, Christie Rodriguez; and Brian Brockhoff, market president at Ohio-based Heartland Bank.

Typically, about 600 people of all ages attend Rockin’ at Riverfest and the Carousel Deck Party, which includes an open bar, premium fireworks viewing, and a live DJ. The Carousel Deck Party attracts a slightly younger crowd, and tickets cost $125.

This year’s Rockin’ at Riverfest will take place Sunday, Sept. 4, at Anderson Pavilion at Smale Riverfront Park, starting at 5 p.m. and ending at 11 p.m. The event is infused with magical energy and excitement from the moment it kicks off until the last attendee leaves.

“I think when most people picture a charity fundraiser, they envision a room of people in black ties, seated the whole night, and the entire event being rather stiff,” says Burcham. “Rockin’ is anything but. I truly don’t think I’ve ever seen someone leave without a smile on their face.”

Filled with great music, delicious food and drink, local celebrity hosts, and live and silent auctions, the event runs in tandem with the Western & Southern/WEBN Fireworks — a perfect way to end the night.

“It’s a great party for a great cause,” says Mike Prescott, president of U.S. Bank and friend of Best Point. 

Best Point has continually adapted to meet the diverse and growing needs of children and families in Greater Cincinnati. Their mission now reaches more than 70 partner schools and more than 300 neighborhoods. In 2021, Best Point served 18,000 individuals, with 71% of their clients showing significantly improved behaviors, and 66% experiencing fewer difficulties in their lives. In addition, 92% remained in school, jobs or job training, 86% earned passing grades and 97% stayed out of trouble with the law. 

“The excitement for Rockin’ has never dulled, and this year is no exception,” says Burcham. “Rockin’ is now more important than ever to ensure the success of the wide array of programs we offer.” 

Want to donate items for both the live and silent auctions for this year’s Rockin’ at Riverfest? Call 513.272.2800. Best Point is located at 5050 Madison Road, Cincinnati, OH 45227. For more information, visit

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