ST. CHARLES – Each year, Dave Villarreal brings together some bands to provide a little music and raise some funds. It’s the best way he can think of to pay tribute to his son.
The fourth annual Dustin Villarreal Benefit Concert takes place at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles. The event features Rick Lindy and the Wild Ones and Beatles tribute band Cavern Beat.
Tickets cost $20 in advance and can be purchased online or by emailing Dave Villarreal at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets are $25 at the door. Concert proceeds benefit the Dustin Villarreal Family Memorial Scholarship, established by Dave Villarreal and his family in honor of his son, Dustin, who died unexpectedly of heart failure on May 5, 2006, at age 15, while he was a freshman at Geneva High School.
Dave Villarreal said he launched the concert because when a son dies at such a young age, “you want to do something to keep your child’s spirit and memory alive as much as possible.”
“You don’t want anyone to ever forget about it,” he said.
He said Dustin’s death devastated the community as well as the family, and he said he’ll forever be thankful for the help he received.
The event website, www.dustinvillarrealmemorialfoundation.org, explains that day, and how Dustin had challenged his friends to a race. When he hadn’t reached the end mark after several minutes, his friends looked for him and found that he had collapsed and was unresponsive. Despite life-saving efforts from first responders, the Villarreals lost their son.
Dave Villarreal said the Geneva football program “took us in and made us a part of their family.” He said it was natural to establish a scholarship fund, and he’s glad if the concert leads people to remember Dustin. He said hundreds attend the show every year.
“We wanted to make something good out of a tough situation,” he said.