Not going to Walla 5…… That’s a Paddlin’

A blog for Walla-Pa-Looza.  Yep, my first blog for Walla-Pa-Looza.  For starters, let’s backtrack to late June 2009.  Throughout Johnsburg, I started seeing Walla-Pa-Looza being advertised around town, such as a banner at Chapel Hill Road and Johnsburg Road, and on the marquees at Angelo’s and Johnsburg State Bank.  I thought to myself, what is Walla-Pa-Looza?  So, I did some digging around on Facebook and found out it was a benefit for cancer at the Johnsburg Community Club featuring a few live bands, a few vendors, food, 50/50 raffles, etc.  However, not getting the one answer I wanted, I did some more digging around and was led to Mike Betts.  I found him on Facebook and asked the one question that had been on my mind about Walla; “Is beer going to be sold?”…  His answer, “Yes”.

Right there, I knew what I was doing on Saturday, August 1.  I would be at the Johnsburg Community Club kicking back a few cold ones while enjoying the sounds of Blush, Peter and the Versatiles, Danny and the Devils and Always Frantic.  By the end of the night, I think I had dropped $60 between my $5 donation to get in, 50/50 raffles, food and, of course, Miller Lite.  To say the least, when Walla 1 was over, I was already looking forward to the event next year.

Let’s move forward to June 2011.  Walla 3 was approaching in about a month, and my friend Jon and I had just started up Everything In Vegas, which is a website, Facebook Page, Twitter Page and YouTube Channel dedicated to Las Vegas.  We decided to get a vendor booth at Walla 3 and sell some of our t-shirts, calendars, other swag, etc.  Overall this was the best Walla experience to date.  We met a lot of new people and got the word out about EIV.  By the time our booth closed at 6pm, we were literally drained from baking in the sun afternoon.  However, that didn’t stop us and the rest of the EIV Team from turning the ‘party switch’ from off to on.  We all kicked back a few cold ones and rocked out to Uncle Sam Band and Bad Medicine for the rest of the evening

justin1

Flash forward to March 2012.  Walla-Pa-Looza 4 was approaching in a few months, and I had gotten my former employer to donate several items for past events for the Silent Auction.  I talked with Craig and Nick from Walla, asking if we could step it up a bit more.  After some talk back and forth, a deal was struck and the Chicago Sun-Times/Lake County News-Sun became the first ‘Main Stage Sponsor’ for Walla-Pa-Looza.  Along with that they donated some awesome items for the Silent Auction yet again.  This was also the first year I volunteered for Walla-Pa-Looza, with myself and my friend Tom helping with setup on Friday evening and Saturday morning.

Walla-Pa-Looza 4 went off without a hitch.  Great weather, great bands, and a great turnout made for a great event.  Let’s flash forward again to January 2013.  I was asked to sit in on a Walla-Pa-Looza board meeting.  I kindly obliged, and truly for the first time, saw the inner-workings of this great organization.  To my surprise, by the end of the night I was elected onto the Board for Walla-Pa-Looza and named their Social Media Director.

Which leads me to today.  Our Social Media presence has skyrocketed in the past few months, especially with our Social Media Drive that takes place through March 31.  I can’t say enough how much I enjoy volunteering for such a great organization with such great people at the helm; and the awesome, kick ass volunteers that help make each event possible.

With that in mind, wait until you see what we have in store for Walla-Pa-Looza 5 on July 27.  You will not be disappointed!!

justin2