HOW WE BEGAN
In 2020 the world was struck by a pandemic that shut down schools, colleges, universities, businesses, and we as a country tried to flatten the curve on infection and death. Many people lost their jobs and overwhelmed the Wisconsin unemployment system. Some individuals waiting up to 6 months to receive any unemployment, Rock County was hit exceedingly hard. People were mandated to stay home, with no gatherings over 10 people, Bars and restaraunts were closed down, musicians and dj’s out of work, and people going stir crazy. We as the people still had to discover a way to come together to help our fellow neighbors. Anthony aka Longhorn put a facebook post inviting people to get together while he dj’ed, even if it was in the middle of a corn field, where we could all social distance. That was when Anthony aka Longhorn and Mark Johnson aka Chairman came up with an incredible plan to help make a difference in our communities, CORONAPALOOZA That is how it all began, with several conversations between Anthony and Mark, a plan came together, all based on three rules, 1. Lets throw one heck of a party, 2. Lets do a good deed for our community , 3. No one makes any money or Looses any money.
During the stay at home order, we watch the news and saw the food pantries trying to keep up with the demand of so many people who where out of work and receiving no unemployment. Lines of cars waiting for hours just to get some food to feed their families, and our hearts broke, and we knew we had to do something to help. Anthony and Mark reached out to friends asking for help and advice, and the local community responded, and a committee was founded. A NON-PROFIT event hosted by a team of volunteers with the hopes to generate revenue and sources to help give back to communities that have been impacted by this virus the most. The members of the committee volunteered to take on various responsibilities from planning a charity motorcycle ride, getting donations for raffles, running the social media outreach, IT responsibilities, putting together a dinner to be served at the event, and finding vendors and entertainment. Things started to come together all with one moto:” No child goes hungry in Rock County if we can do anything about it.”
Mark Johnson and Tracy Anderson had planned to get married on 7-11-2020 and had a venue booked at the Table in Afton, Wi, but with the stay at home order and Mark’s Daughter being in the military and serving oversea’s, and his father being at high risk for infection by covid-19, they decided to postpone their wedding until 2021, and using their reserved date to put on Coronapalooza.
In 2 ½ months the committee put together a full safe music festival with mobile stage, P.A. and lighting system, 7 bands and M.C. , food vendors, clothing vendors, a motorcycle parade ride with 5 stops through several local communities with police escort, with over 109 registered riders, multiple basket raffles and 50/50’s. Our 1st annual event raised over $6800 dollars in 11hours, after expensises, we were able to distributing $4500 to food pantries in Rock county, equaling 27,000 meals to our local families.
We are planning to host future events, but we need more help from our communities in order to keep doing so. Whether it be small donations, or helping hands, we’d love to see Coronapalooza grow! We the people can make a difference, if we work together. Even if that means that we have to stand six feet apart. Individually a person is strong. but if we can continue to come together for a great cause, we can rebuild and overcome.