What began 15 years ago as a parking lot “jam session” became an event known around San Angelo as Manny’s Annual Birthday Bash.
“I moved here in 2002 as a student, and I was a musician,” Campos said. “I connected with Rod Bridgeman at Sealy Flats. One weekend he asked what I was doing for my birthday, and said, ‘Why don’t you just bring your stuff and let’s have a jam session.’”
“So it was a potluck,” he continued. “It started that way, and we passed the hat around. We figured that if we are going to raise money off of this, we might as well have it go to something other than my pocket.”
Each year, the money goes back into the community.
“We’ve had money go to nonprofits, to new development, to private citizens who have been injured or faced serious illness,” Campos said. “We’ve helped an injured ASU athlete, and we’ve diverted some of the funds to the relief efforts in Port Aransas.”
This year, the bash benefitted Ram and Rambelle Rugby and Angelo State Baseball, of which Campos is the faculty advisor and faculty athletic associate. In 2018, all proceeds went towards the Ram Family Student Scholarship.
I view it as, if I can get 300-400 people in a room together on any given night for fun, why not do something together for a good cause.
As an Angelo State alum as well, he knows the importance of making an impact on the students who come through his classroom.
“I’m just as passionate teaching as I am performing,” Campos said. “For me, those students aren’t just a number. You get paid to be here but when you see a student get that job at a hospital, or get married and you get asked to go to their wedding, those are the things that a paycheck doesn’t cover. Those are the really important things – I love to be part of that.”