Who has our back? The Johnsburg Lions that’s who!

In case you missed Kevin’s blog entry from last week, the Walla-Pa-Looza folks are teaming up with our friends from the Johnsburg Lions to raise money for two families here in Johnsburg, Illinois. This all started as one of our volunteers, Kevin Donlan, had heard about this little girl named Taylor Radtke during a church sermon and that she is very ill. He came to me and asked if we could do something to help the family.

Since our group only does two events a year I decided to reach out to Ed Hettermann, the Johnsburg Village President, a Lion, and a family friend. He invited me to a Lions meeting and the Lions were kind enough to give me a few minutes to talk about Taylor. They decided they wanted to help us out but they also had a local family they were trying to help, the Kinney’s. We talked about having the two super powers of charity teaming up and doing an event together. I thought of it as Batman & Superman working together to fight crime. No one can stop us! We had our first meeting together a couple of weeks ago and besides a small fender bender things went really well. It did however take us an hour to get a date (Feb 27th).

Each group gave a quick story on the families that needed our help. The Lions talked about Annmarie Kinney, 19 who was in a terrible car accident and how she has had 13 operations on her leg and may lose her leg altogether. Her medical bills are mounting and she is in desperate need. Next up was our discussion on the Radtke family. Their daughter Taylor, age 9, has Fibrous Dysplasia, a disease that spreads from the patient’s bones. She was tumor free but in early 2009 the tumor was back and this time, according to doctors, is spreading rapidly and operations will not help. Taylor’s mom, Laurie, is not ready to give up and who blames her? I doubt any of you would give up hope either! I know I wouldn’t. So this is where you come in.

I know we have asked a lot from our friends and families but as I stated to friend of mine just the other day, “if the only social time I ever have is working or going to benefits to help others so be it. I have wasted so much time and money not really helping anyone. This is my way of giving back.”

It’s true.

I figure over the past 20 years I have spent enough in bars and restaurants to build a duplex or two for the homeless. So, I am asking you to look at how you spend your entertainment dollars. Our Walla-Pa-Looza events are pretty reasonable. You get live music, raffles, and inexpensive beverages. The event for the Kinney/Radtke families will be just like the others so grab a pen and write this down:

THE KINNEY/RADTKE BENEFIT – Saturday, Feb 27th from 6:00pm till 12:00am at the Johnsburg Community Club. A $5.00 donation will get you live music from Peter & The Versatiles, Calcutta, Meat Raffles, 50/50 and much, much more!

As a great friend had once said, “You can’t do this alone” – and we’re not. The Johnsburg Lions are in our corner….

For more information take a look at our homepage or feel free to contact one of the folks on our contact page. Have a great week.