A well-known face in the community, the co-founder of the "Betsy" Concert Series has passed. Tonight, many remember Frank Gruenewald as they gathered for the 2012 kickoff at Lock 20 Canal Park.
"He always said I hope this will carry on when I'm gone. That was his dream," said Diane Zablak.
Frank Gruenewald passed Wednesday night, a day before the kickoff to his 2012 "Betsy" Concert Series.
It all started about 26 years ago. His daughter Lisa Bronk said he wanted to have concerts for people to enjoy themselves in the summer.
That's how Frank and Everett Smith met. "We both had the same idea and he knew how to get the money and I made sure that all the other work got done," explained Smith.
81-year-old Smith says the event was put on for grade school children on Betsy the Barge.
"The state had this boat. They were willing to give it to us to promote the canal," said Smith.
Two years later the event evolved into a big concert series right next to the canal.
A pavilion was also built in honor of Frank and Everett where people can sit back and enjoy the music and pay whatever they feel is right. And that money would go towards fireworks for the last day of the series.
Diane Zablak says she started to come to the canal in 2001 helping her nephew with the hotdog stand during the concerts.
But, since then, she got on board with Frank and Everett and has been helping out where she can.
"Frank will get the entire schedule made up. Everett would handle the sound system. I would hand out the program and get the collection and do a lot of the leg work for them because they didn't want to do as much walking," laughed Zablak.
Diane says the concert really brings the community together. She says she loves seeing new and old faces.
"You see a lot of happy faces. You'd be surprised by all the people getting up to dance. It's really a nice pleasant atmosphere," said Zablak.
Diane and Everett say it will never be the same, but they hope to continue the concert series to keep frank's legacy alive.
Click here for the full 2012 Schedule.