Whidbey community rallies around Johnny Bulldog

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The tables are being turned for one of Whidbey Island’s most well-known and generous residents.

A benefit fundraiser for John “Bulldog” Tristao is being planned for 1-6 p.m. Sunday, May 1 at the Coupeville Rec Hall.

Tristao, lead singer of Creedence Clearwater Revisited and founder of local band Johnny Bulldog, suffered a tear in his aortic valve, which required emergency heart surgery at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Tristao is recovering and has insurance, but his insurance company ended its relationship with the medical center prior to Tristao’s surgery, and will not cover any of his expenses.

Johnny Bulldog, long known for its support of local charities, has performed countless fundraising concerts for various causes on Whidbey Island. Now local residents are mounting the effort to raise money to help Tristao cover at least some of the massive medical bills incurred.

The upcoming benefit will feature food and drink provided by Christopher’s, The Oystercatcher, Front Street Grill, Toby’s Tavern, Penn Cove Shellfish and Ciao in Coupeville, and Fraser’s Gourmet Hideaway in Oak Harbor. Music will be provided by Skinny Tie Jazz, VIP Praise Team, DB Jazz, Broken Banjo and others.

Organizers are asking for a $20 donation at the door for food and music for this all-ages event. Extra donations to cover adult beverages will also be accepted. Additional donations can be made by dropping off cash or checks for the John and Beth Tristao Fund at People’s Bank and donations can also be made through the couple’s GoFundMe page here.

Tristao and his wife, Beth, moved to Whidbey Island more than 30 years ago, quickly becoming fixtures in the community. Johnny Bulldog has performed benefit concerts for many Whidbey Island organizations, including Gifts of the Heart Food Bank, Hearts and Hammers, Coupeville Schools, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Island County, Citizens Against Domestic and Sexual Assault, Whidbey Island Animal Improvement Foundation, Friends of Ebey’s Reserve and many others.

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