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Volume 16, Issue 5
May 2018


Thayer family gives back to Sunset High

By Kathy Campbell and Lynda Gordon

Thayer fundraiser

Tommy Thayer, lead guitarist for KISS, and several of his Sunset High alumni musician friends performed at a private fundraising event benefitting Sunset High School’s performing arts programs on Saturday April 21, at Pete’s Mountain Winery and Vineyard in West Linn. The winery is owned by Thayer’s youngest brother Mike and his wife Kristy, who graciously donated the use of their tasting room and all the wine served to the nearly 50 lucky people in attendance., Thayer’s two older brothers Jim and John also got in on the act with Jim playing bartender and John performing a few tunes with the band. All Thayer siblings were involved in either choir or band during their years at Sunset.

All of the musicians who donated their time and talent are Sunset graduates who wanted to come together to play with Tommy and to benefit their former high school music and performing arts programs. Todd Duncan, class of ’78 and fellow jazz and marching band saxophonist with Tommy, is the lead singer for the well-known local band Crazy 8’s, and was celebrating his band’s 30 year anniversary and new release. Greg Georgeson, class of ’74, is best known for being lead guitarist with the local band Sequel. Barry Bender and John Thayer, both class of ’77, played percussion and guitar with the group. They played a set of acoustic music by the Beatles, Neil Young, Tom Petty, and many other favorites for over an hour, encouraging the audience to sing along.

In addition to the great music, food, and wine, a silent auction was held with donations from many Sunset alumni and Portland-area businesses such as the Ringside, Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club and Nike, as well as from groups such as the Trail Blazers, Timbers, and Thorns. The auction and a wine fundraiser raised close to $3,000. With donations from the people who attended the event and the Thayer family, the entire evening raised about $15,000 for Sunset High School’s Auditorium Renovation Fund, which now stands just over $70,000 raised during the past year.

With the support of wonderful alumni like the Thayer Family and over 100 other donors, Sunset has been able to start the process of purchasing new theater sound equipment for the school’s auditorium. Another $30,000 is needed to be able to fully fund the renovation of the school’s sound booth to hold all the equipment and students who will operate it during performances. If you’d like to join in and support Sunset’s award-winning performing arts programs and the 500+ students involved, please go to the fundraiser website at to make an online donation, or to find a donation form that can be mailed to the school’s PTO. The fundraiser runs through May 31st, so time is running out!

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Publisher/Editor:Virginia Bruce
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Portland, Oregon 97291
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