Seeing the outpouring of support for her mission and the shop that bears her name left Val Camilletti overwhelmed — but also relieved.
High praise for the longtime Oak Parker came at a benefit for her shop, Val’s halla Records, hosted by longtime fans Sue and Jim Gill.
“We had a crowd that was gathered for the right reasons — to support Val,” Sue Gill said. “I knew she would feel the love and that was kind of the point.”
About 80 people attended the event, accompanied by music from the Don Steinberg Trio, with food by Melissa Elsmo. The energy was high, Sue said, and it gave Camilletti the push to see that she and her shop are valued in the community.
“It was just awesome,” Camilletti said. The people, the music, the food, the support, everything, she said, was beyond her dreams. She almost thought it was a dream when she woke up the morning after the Dec. 13 benefit was held.
“It just reinforced what were my greatest concerns: if the store was an asset to the community,” Camilletti said.
Many who couldn’t attend have donated on a website set up for the shop. The effort has helped get more inventory into the shop and will assist with long-term plans to revitalize it as a mecca for music lovers in the Chicago area, equipped with a stage for live performances.
“I don’t want to take money just out of charity,” said Camilletti.
Those interested in supporting Val’s renaissance can visit valshallaparty.blogspot.com or the shop at 239 Harrison St.