Sunday, May 23, 2010


Finn and Coop were trying to get their Dad to take a break at the JJ Palooza Extravaganza.

JJ is Juliana LaMonica, a 2 year old from Brockport who is currently living in Boston with her family while she is being treated for AML (leukemia). It has been a fairly long haul, but she has now had a bone marrow transplant (her 4 year old brother was a perfect match).
There have been numerous fundraisers for JJ and today's was a BIGGIE!
There were four bands, a chicken BBQ, fun things for kids to do and lots of people.
Each band had at least one member that I knew from teaching at the High School.

This is Brice Meade....

And here is JJ's Dad. He was flown in today by his brother and surprised the heck out of his parents.

This is Paul Kemblowski...he helped organize this whole event. He is also a good friend to our family.

Gail was a volunteer. She used to live in Brockport and we had fun playing bridge.

JJ's grandparents are in the middle (below) with the sunglasses.

Chuck Dorgan and his band came to town from Syracuse. What a great group! I have not seen him for a million years...he played here for one of Jenny's birthday parties over 20 years ago.

Kevin, Jenny's husband, was also on the team that put this together.

This is JJ's Uncle Steve.

I think you know Cooper by now.

...and Kevin's Mom...Pat.
One more example of excellent community support. You have to love it.

All ages....

You've met Paul and Brice....
Here's Adam Stull...another team member. It was like a gigantic class reunion.

Brian Nitch is another one... are you catching on....the black tee shirts made up the core. The amount of effort that went into this event is overwhelming!

I couldn't believe it, there was Shirley Noni, visiting from Hawaii.

Kevin's friend Matt came out from Rochester.

I don't know her name, but the only woman in Chuck's band had an amazing voice...she could also play the fiddle.

Jenny and Miles had time to catch up. We were backyard neighbors when they were about 3 or 4.
Time sure has flown!

You met Miles Watts before, when his band played in our barn.

This is his daughter....
She and her brother got up on the stage and played a number with their Dad (see the video below).

Jenny hooked up with some friends she went to Fredonia with.... I'm telling you, people came from all over the place.

JJ's Dad had a chance to see half of the town, and was very humbled by the whole thing.

Cooper and Finn came in out of the sun to listen to the bands with me.

This is Michelle, the Mother of those two beautiful children who played with the band.

I think she is their biggest fan...

Now this guy, Darren Blocker, was also one of my students. Every year we would make bets on the Syracuse/Georgetown games. I'm happy to say that he is going to move right around the corner from us in the very near future. He has been a friend of our family since he was a kid...now he has several beautiful kids.

The guy on the right is Dan Hawkins...landscaper and more...friend.
That's his wife, Amy, below left.
I pooped out a little after 5, and headed home. The sky was brilliant and it was over 80.
This was a testament to what people can do when they pull together... and JJ's family is most grateful to have such amazing support. Can't wait til they are all back in Brockport.

Here is a sample of the music we heard today. First is Chuck's Band MASTER THEIVES
and second...MILES WATTS AND THE BROTHERS FROM OTHER MOTHERS (with the assistance of his two children). Don't forget to go to my sidebar to turn off Playlist....you know, so you can hear the bands....


dianasfaria.com said...

A wonderful story, God bless them all.

elvira pajarola said...


The great event for this special help to a special little person and all the people putting their help and energy to realize a real important goal!!!

....and on top of it your just GORGEOUS PRIMI PIANI (italian lesson continues...got to figure it out,cara)!!!!!!!!!!!


ciao ciao elvira

Anonymous said...

This was a great event and we were happy to attend.
T, N.B.M.C

Maery Rose said...

You do have a wonderful community! Looks like a good time for everyone. It must be nice to live where you know so many people and they all know you.

Unknown said...

Thanks for putting this together, it was great to see you there. This is a nice representation of the event. Thanks,