Rewind, Recap, Revisit, Rehash

Walla-Pa-Looza 3! July 30, 2011!

I have finally been able to take a deep breath, kick back, and ponder Walla-Pa-Looza 2011.

First off, for those of you that have e-mailed me or asked about my mother, she is doing fine. She fainted the evening before our event and was taken by ambulance to Centegra and was treated and released. She is not, however, doing well to begin with. She has two arteries in the rear of her neck that are blocked – one fully, the other at about 60%. I have been told they cannot be operated on. She has had some mini strokes and overall has very limited capacities. I was surprised to even see her at our volunteer meeting since she does not leave the house very much anymore. Maybe she feels like she needs to volunteer because her son started this organization but for me it would be better if she keeps herself healthy and not submit herself to heat and humidity by trying to do things that even forty year olds struggle with. Either way, I am guessing it was best that she skipped this event because it was a hot one.

The event itself was a great one. As always, my board of directors – Nick Bionda, Sheryl Smith, Chad Miller and Joanne Wallace did a great job. Sheryl does all of the scheduling and it becomes a very time consuming process. With over 70 volunteers, sometimes people get left off, moved around or misplaced. As always, she did a great job. Nick Bionda puts together all of the corporate sponsorships and vendors. Nick had to completely rearrange the layout of the festival grounds at the last minute – and my hat goes off to him. Well done Nick! Chad Miller, who takes care of ticketing, security and restrooms, was on key like always. Finally, my wife Joanne, who heads up our children’s activities and manages all the drama, did a wonderful job as well. Thanks guys!

Now onto the “chairs”. These are the folks that head up an area of major time consumption and importance to what we do. In no particular order they are:

Dina Demonte – Every year, Dina runs our Battle of The Bands and every year it is awesome! I even told her she is basically running her own event. She actually told me she would deal with the sound guy from now on too! Dina, you rock, and I am so happy to have you on our team. I appreciate your leadership.

Doug Carlile – Doug handles all the food & beverages for our event. He makes sure the vendors show up and manages the tedious tasks of cups, ice and ticket sales. He starts early and finishes late. Doug, thank you for everything you do. One day we may have to promote you – but for right now you are my favorite stool.

Chrissy Lecinski, Mike Betts & Robin Hivon – You really did a great job on our raffles and auctions. I knew it would be hard to replace Barb but you stepped up. Even when I was throwing last minute items at you, you guys handled it all. Excellent job! Chrissy, you get the big high five from me because you took this position and ran with it. Even with Mike in your way, you nailed it!

Mark Olson – He has no chair but the guy is so busy working, he wouldn’t have sat on it anyway! The guy is a machine! Garbage, loading, & unloading ….. the list goes on and on. Mark, thank you for everything you do.

Mike & Lori MazrinMike does a great job as our sound manager. He deals with a lot of egos and drunk “band aids”. Lori worked the t-shirts and front door! Nice job guys and thank you!

For those of you that spent time serving pizza, face painting, marketing and selling 50/50 you did not go unnoticed. I appreciate it greatly.

For the bands that played our event, thank you. You made our 3rd annual event successful. To Dave Moravec for providing great sound all night. Thanks again!

To our sponsors, vendors and people who donated items and dollars – we are humbled by your generosity.

For those of you that I got to spend some time with, thank you. I know I was moving around all night but when part of your name goes on the product you tend to be nervous. Seeing some of the survivors walk around with ribbons on made me smile and for those that showed up and are still fighting, you’re the reason we do this. Keep strong, we have your back!

And finally to our 2,200 family & friends, you helped us do so something special. Without you, we wouldn’t be able to give like we give.

I hope you enjoyed our party, and we will see you at Jolly-Pa-Looza the first Saturday in December.