Baldapalooza all started with an idea, or maybe it should be described as a feeling.
Dustin Simpson, who dabbles in music, was out mowing his lawn and had a recurring thought that he should put together a music concert. But not just any concert. He wanted to raise money to help Kean Barker’s family with their medical bills.
Kean Barker was diagnosed in July 2012 with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. He was two years old. His case was complicated by the fact he has Down syndrome. Despite his condition, Kean emerged as a warrior, befitting of his name (Kean is Welsh for fighter). In September of 2015, he finished 1,157 days of Chemotherapy.
His family was not comfortable with raising money only for Kean, and instead suggested holding a fundraiser to finance an idea they had for the downtown St. Luke’s hospital where they had spent countless days, weeks and months.
Baldapalooza & the Hall of Heroes
The money raised from the first Baldapalooza went to create the Hall of Heroes: a gallery featuring the portraits of some of these brave children and their stories.
Already, it has given many new families hope and comfort knowing they are not alone on their cancer journey. In 2014 and 2015, Baldapalooza funds went towards the support of Camp Rainbow Gold.
Camp Rainbow gold provides year round programs and scholarships for children battling cancer and their families. They also host week long summer camps for children and teens with cancer and a camp for their siblings. One mom said “Camp Rainbow Gold is the silver lining of a horrible storm called Cancer. Kids are poked and prodded, they lose their hair, their ability to walk, and any chance at a normal childhood while they are enduring treatment. CRG offers a place where these kids can go and fit in, be themselves, be silly and SHINE. They dress up, do skits, sing, hike, bike, swim, if a kid is too sick to do anything, CRG still makes certain they make their experience wonderful.”
The Barker’s believe Baldapalooza and supporting projects like these will make an impossible time for other families a little bit easier.
How pleased we are that you are joining us to support Baldapalooza. Kean is obsessed with music and it has the magical ability to calm him down during frequent Emergency Room visits, follow up appointments and hospital stays. We can’t think of anything more fitting than a musical festival.
Since this is the only “family friendly” music festival in the Valley, we expect great things and look forward to many more years of Baldapalooza!