Gimme A Break!

Blush Playing at the first Walla-Pa-Looza

This week is spring break for many of us, and I am happy to say our friends, the Wallace’s, have packed up and headed for fun in the sun and a much needed and deserved vacation. In Craig’s absence, I am stepping in this week as your guest blogger to give him a break. First, a little Walla-connection background on myself for those of you reading this that I have not yet met.

I met Craig back in high school here in McHenry through my brother Nick. Years later, I reconnected with Craig through Facebook like many of us have done. Craig asked my band Blush to play at the “backyard party” which quickly turned into the infamous local party known as “Walla-Pa-Looza”.

Last year I was appointed the official title of “stool” (which is not quite a “chair”) for the Teenage Battle of the Bands event at Walla 2010. I suppose in order to move up to chair I need to take a couple of steps up the stool first? Well who knew the break Craig gave our band that day would make a major change in my life as well as so many others around us.

Summer break is right around the corner which means it’s almost time for Walla-Pa-Looza 3, aka WP3! Walla-Pa-Looza event day is a day where the community comes together to give back and give a break to the families affected by cancer. If you have not been out to a Walla event, I encourage you to join in the fun, and yes, it’s okay to have fun. It’s fun to dance to the music, fun to hang out with your friends, pay tribute to lost friends and to give thanks to new friends and fun to give back to the local families in hopes to give them a small break in their day.

I have 2 children, Miranda & Frank, that I am thankful for and am thankful they are healthy – unlike so many of the families we unfortunately meet at each event. I don’t know anyone whose lives have not been touched by such a horrible disease.

My sister-in-law Traci, is one of the strongest people I know. Her teenage son was diagnosed with cancer just a couple of weeks prior to our very first Walla event which really hit home with the whole gang and put things into perspective for us. The other day I was talking to Traci about something that happened in my day that really bummed me out. I told her I shouldn’t complain because my problem was so minor compared to some of the problems in other peoples lives, especially hers. She told me that it was okay to have those feelings and that everyone has problems big and small. She told me I should not feel bad about talking about them. That day, Traci gave me that quick break I needed even though I knew her worries far exceeded mine.

Please remember that we all need a break every once in a while. So STOP and give yourself a break, lend an ear and give a friend a break and don’t forget to come out to a Walla event or two this year and give the families in need a break. If you can’t make it to one of our events, you can always donate through our website.

Dina DeMonte


  • Dina, after reading the above, I sincerely have to say to you, “Job well done and Thank You!!”

    Comment by Craig's Mom — March 28, 2011 @ 2:17 pm

  • Dina-

    I finally got to sit down and read your blog today. Great Job! It’s nice to have you as one of our volunteers. I am so happy to have you, Nick and the rest of your family in my life. I am sure you will do a great job as our Battle of The Bands director again in 2011.


    Comment by Craig Wallace — April 4, 2011 @ 10:53 am

  • I bought a drum set from one of the guys on your board and he said the you run an annual teen battle of the bands.

    My band, Matter o Fact, we are 13 & 14 year old boys, are interested in playing at your battle of the bands.

    Can you give me the date and details such as how many songs can we play, what equipment is available, etc..


    Comment by Drake Cambra — June 30, 2011 @ 9:10 pm