You know those people who can captivate an audience just by walking into a room? The folks who have an inherent ability to brighten an otherwise humdrum day? They’re the kinds of folks who would stir up envy, if they weren’t just so darn objectively fascinating.

Well, that’s Christi Page. She flashes a gorgeous smile the minute you meet her, and will keep it going as she talks about her job, her passions, the weather…pretty much any component of everyday conversation. The only possible way to get her to light up even more is to ask about the love of her life.

weddingOf course, he was that kind of person, too. Trip caught Christi’s eye the minute she walked into Henry’s Bar & Restaurant during a night out downtown, and it’s been said that his funeral – where she said goodbye on the exact date of their two-year wedding anniversary – had the second highest attendance of any funeral in Charleston’s recent history. Her brothers adored him. Friends admired him. Colleagues and neighbors looked up to him.

Christi beams as she talks about the “incredible man” she married: a self-made, successful engineer who managed to nurture a love for surfing while putting himself through school.

“At the time,” she says of those grief-filled days following his sudden death, “I just couldn’t think of anything to do.”

So she started an endowment scholarship fund at The Citadel, where Trip earned his Professional Engineer’s License and had been working toward his Masters of Business. She put together a small golf tournament to help raise funds for what she hopes will someday be a full ride scholarship, and returned to her job as a retail manager at Stella Nova. She became an outspoken advocate of seat belt safety to help spare others the tragic mishap that cost her husband his life when, in exhaustion, he simply forgot to buckle up for the two-mile drive to their hotel.

In pouring her blood, sweat and tears into her beloved husband’s legacy, Christi ended up giving life to one of the nation’s only music festivals to benefit a community in need. On Saturday, Blues Traveler, Sol Driven Train, Dangermuffin and other regional and national bands will take over Joe Riley Stadium for Charleston’s inaugural Shinefest.

loungeIn many ways, the day-long event will resemble big outdoor music fests popular in metropolitan areas around the country. Cold brews, rockin’ performances and a VIP lounge will all be a part of the mix. But where most festivals are money-makers, this one is all for a cause: In keeping Trip’s legacy alive, Christi’s dedicating 100 percent of the day’s proceeds to charity. Half will go to The Trip Page Endowment Scholarship, half to the Charleston County School District.

And when it ends, the new Trip Page Education Initiative will work year-round to bring in even bigger names and more sponsors. If Christi has her way, which we’re confident she will, this year’s festival is going to be the start of something incredible.

Details: Saturday, October 17, noon – 9 p.m., Cost: $45 at the door, $100 for VIP access to open bar and food catered by Shine.

www.shinefestcharleston.com

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