This weekend is the TOLA 30th fest and yesterday I volunteered for the organizers Wrightwood Neighbors Association (WNA). I have attended the fest many times over the years dating back to the origins when I lived in the DePaul neighborhood. It was nice helping them out while getting a great show in exchange.
The weather was perfect for standing in the street for 3 hours accepting donations and stamping hands of donors. The headliner at the main stage was Dave Davies of the Kinks and I wanted to see the show, so I coordinated my times so I could get off in time for his set.
The WNA boasts that over 50,000 people may attend this weekend. The suggested donation for entry is $7 before 4 PM & $10 after. Each fest has a different beneficiary, and event volunteers received a t-shirt with a pie chart on the back with a breakdown.
Since 1984 over $2.5 millions has been raised for the benefit of local area public schools, libraries, parks, museums, community theaters, food pantries and outreach programs, the 18th district police department and the 55th engine fire department are just a few.
In addition to the t-shirt, volunteers get admission to the fest, food and beverages in a volunteer tent. It was an easy day given the weather and ample volunteers so we could be relieved for breaks. When I finished my shift, I enjoyed a 90 minute set of rock with some old friends, and a few beers.
Dave Davies played a long set and he showed off the licks we grew up loving. He ended the show with an encore that included “You Really Got Me” that got the crowd jumping.