Sand between the toes causes Friction


When writing blogs for a cancer organization it gets boring. If I were writing for Rolling Stone interviewing a bunch of spoiled rock stars I’m guessing I would get sick of that too. So this week, I figured I would mix my blog up with some cancer benefit talk and some rock and roll talk because I have always been the guy that throws parties for a good cause. You might have heard of it? If not, we can talk about that later.

So in the meantime, we are going to start the week off talking about Walla-Pa-Looza – Rasin’ Cash for Cancer: A Benefit for Maya. The benefit came together because many of our volunteers are involved in other non for profit activities and were made aware that an eleven year old young lady was going through a rough battle with cancer. It was her friends in the McHenry Junior Warriors program that contacted us because they had seen the work we had done in the past. So a handful of the Walla-Pa-Looza volunteers were sitting at a wedding and after talking, we decided that we were in a pretty good position to help. We have done some “extra” fundraisers in the past and this time we had a nice infrastructure of help. In fact, I was pretty surprised by the generosity given by organizations within and outside of our community. Everyday I would head out to the mailbox and I would find some sort of envelope filled with money making opportunities for Maya’s benefit. Some of the items have been Chicago Bulls tickets, White Sox tickets and much, much more. I talk to Sheryl Smith everyday because she has been putting together all the silent auction items and is always looking for something. Sheryl has been an incredible volunteer for Walla-Pa-Looza and has stepped up yet again. She is one of my closest friends and I love that she is not afraid to roll up her sleeves. I am proud to have her on our team. If you are attending this fundraiser on March 9th, at the McHenry Country Club and are looking for a gift for the wife or a night out the town, you will find it here!

As part of our fundraising efforts we have always incorporated live music – but not just any live music. We try to find the best live music in the area. If it’s not Infinity, Libido Funk Circus or Hi Infidelity it’s not a Walla-Pa-Looza event. We have always tried to give the attendees artists that we normally don’t have at our local watering holes and this event needed a big band. I hadn’t had Friction at any of our prior events, so I was EXTREMLY excited to bring to McHenry one of my favorite bands: ((((Friction)))))! If you haven’t seen Friction this is your chance to see them close up and personal. I got to get to know Mike Dermont the lead singer from Friction and we talked for quite a bit and one of the things that I really, really liked about him was that he understood what this was all about. See, Mike grew up in Crystal Lake and I remember they were on WGN playing live to promote a benefit for one of the shooting victims from the Colorado movie theater shooting - Naval Petty Officer John Larimer. He was the hero that basically jumped in front of the bullets to save his girlfriend.

Here is a link to the interview and performance from Friction.

I have a ton of friends in bands, so a friend of a friend told me to reach out to Mike so I sent him an e-mail on Facebook and then we talked on the phone and he said “We have jobs. We would just like to help.” I was thinking, “Yep, I remember the first few events I did, every band donated time. Now, lately to get the best bands you have to pay. Yes they discount, but if you want the best you pay. Sometimes bands will donate back but it’s a business. I get it.” Remember, I helped get Tesla on stage at Fiesta Days. Well, I’m proud to say, one of the best bands in the Chicagoland area is donating time to help a little girl from McHenry. We have procured our regular sound guys from Northwest Sound – Dave Moravec and his team to make sure Valentine and Friction sound great so this is one you won’t want to miss. As of this blog – we have over 300 tickets sold. I have a handful set aside and I know Friction fans will show up but, please don’t miss out!

Besides, Maya loves Bob Marley’s song; Three Little Birds it helps her get through all of this so, who knows with all the chemo treatments she has had maybe she is onto something I mean Bob himself said it best:


Hey Maya? I’m heading to Ocho Rio’s about a week after this event and it would be really cool to come back and find out that “every little thing’s gonna be alright”

See you Saturday!