BROOKSVILLE — Some friends are made through like interests. And sometimes those interests can be put to good use to help out a friend.
Such is the case with Louiepalooza, a music event scheduled for Friday and Saturday that will raise money for amateur musician Louie Palma of Spring Hill, injured in a motorcycle wreck June 9.
Palma, who suffered a mangled and broken leg, then removal of his spleen, is saddled with a $254,000 bill from Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point.
"And that's not even the doctors," said the 55-year-old cyclist, who is still on crutches.
Palma was hospitalized in the trauma center for nearly four weeks.
The out-of-work construction worker has no health insurance. He picks up some earnings from musical gigs — he plays guitar and sings — and from jobs as an art illustrator.
Louiepalooza will feature 24 acts, beginning at 7 p.m. Friday and at noon Saturday, at the Farm, 19234 Lake Lindsay Road, north of Brooksville. Organizer Frank Julian of New Port Richey said the acts have grown out of "a bunch of musicians who play together, sit around campfires, all Florida folk musicians."
The fundraiser is open to the public. Those attending will be asked for a donation of $5 each. Hot dogs, hamburgers, soft drinks and water will be sold. Visitors are also welcome to camp overnight with their own tents at the site, Julian said.
Palma said the performers are musicians he has met since he started his own band after graduating from Hernando High School in 1975. Groups are coming from throughout Florida — as far away as Miami. The stage is set in a large barn and includes a sound system.
Palma's family unit includes his girlfriend and a 12-year-old stepson.
Palma admits he was at fault in the wreck on County Line Road near Mariner Boulevard, when he turned in front of an oncoming vehicle. He was cited for an illegal turn and driving without a license.
Additional information about Louiepalooza is available by calling Julian at (727) 808-5897.
Beth Gray can be contacted at [email protected]