For eight years, many lives have been changed in the name of a St. Joseph teenager.

Honoring the life of 19-year-old Brett Baltezor, Jeep’n & Jamm’n for Brett helps raise money for scholarships for students through a memorial ride, a daylong concert and scholarships. It’s getting bigger every year.

“We’ve gotten better each year. Every year, we just to continue to grow and raise more money for more scholarships,” said Mike Brennan, one of the organizers for the event.

This year’s event includes an all-day concert featuring an array of local talent that starts at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 13, at Coleman Hawkins Park at Felix Street Square.

Known and beloved by musicians in St. Joseph, Baltezor died unexpectedly in 2009 at the age of 19. Since then, 171 scholarships have been given out to help students pursue their love of music and art.

“We’re keeping it in his honor and the love he had for music and Jeeps. We’re glad to be able to help other young kids go on to their dreams that Brett had,” Brennan said.

This year’s concert boasts a lineup that includes Aaron Blumer and Casey Brett (1 p.m.), Scott Ford (2 p.m.), The Motors (3 p.m.), A Greater Tomorrow (4:30 p.m.), Vinyl Cover Band (8 p.m.) and Pyro Tribe (9 p.m.). The event closes with a second set by 9 Penny at 9:30 p.m. Admission is free.

The event also includes a Jeep ride that will take off at 11 a.m. Saturday, with all types of vehicles welcome to take part. The $20 registration fee for the vehicles goes toward scholarships for area high school students. In addition, raffles will help raise money for the scholarships.

“It’s about a 50-mile ride with a break halfway through. It’s an enjoyable ride, it’s a scenic ride,” Brennan said.

Brennan said it’s been a fulfilling process to watch Baltezor’s spirit live on through other people.

“It makes you feel good, glad that you can help ... it’s just a joy to be able to do that,” he said.

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Andrew Gaug can be reached


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