Milwaukee music fans will remember Jeff Castelaz as an integral part of the band Citizen King and a manager who went on to launch his own label, Dangerbird Records, in Los Angeles.
The one-time WMSE disc jockey has new pursuits - biking across the country - inspired by the death of his son Pablo Thrailkill Castelaz, who died of cancer at age 6.
Castelaz and his wife, Jo Ann Thrailkill, created the Pablove Foundation to raise money to fight childhood cancer and have raised more than $1 million through the cross-country bike rides he started in 2009.
The first Pablove Across America went from St. Petersburg, Fla., to Los Angeles; and the second from Seattle to L.A.
Castelaz’ third tour starts in Milwaukee on Saturday morning. It’s a 17-day, 1,425-mile ride starting at the Hilton City Center and ending in New Orleans. Pro rider Christian Vande Velde will be part of the group giving Castelaz a lead-out at 7 a.m.
Local cyclists, old friends and anyone who wants to join in are welcome to roll along for the first 10 to 30 miles.
The goal is to raise $500,000, which provides essential funding for the organization’s childhood cancer research grants, educational symposiums for families and medical professionals, and quality of life programs like Pablove Shutterbugs.
The work of the Shutterbugs, children with cancer exploring their photographic creativity, will be on display Thursday night during a reception starting at 6 p.m. at Hanson Dodge Creative, 220 E. Buffalo St.
“Returning to my hometown to launch Pablove Across America is emotionally significant for me,” Castelaz said. “My dorm window at Marquette University looked out on the old children’s hospital. Now I am bringing joy and supporting research for kids being treated at Wisconsin Children’s and five other hospitals throughout the country, all to honor the memory of my son Pablo.”