"Don't Hold Back" Series; Part I featuring Dalles Hartman

Ms. Hartman's group with their blackout poetry
May 12th, 2023
Introducing Part 1 of our "Don't Hold Back" series, written by Sarah Blazincic, President of Western Sun Foundation. This community is so incredible and we want to highlight the good work that our fellow fans and friends are accomplishing in their daily lives. Read below for the first article featuring Dalles Hartman, a powerful therapist and youth advocate that incorporates Goose into her mindful sessions.

Starting Western Sun Foundation (WSF) has brought so much joy and spark to my life. In a very short time, I have met and interacted with the most amazing individuals within our Goose Community. We knew the need was there, but we didn’t realize just how much traction and desire there was to give back, all right here. Beyond fans wanting to support WSF, the organizations we have chosen and the volunteer events we have hosted, there are so many incredible individuals already doing incredible work in their day to day lives. We have connected with some truly inspiring fans that are doing hard and impactful work daily. I wanted to highlight some of these fans and their stories, so begins "Don't Hold Back", a series.

Our first story is truly something special. Dalles Hartman, a Pittsburgh resident and avid Goose fan, reached out early on and gave us a stack of handwritten and colored poetry done by her students. She said these poems were inspired by Goose, she wanted us to have them and share them with the band. We held onto them for a while, but didn’t quite know how to incorporate them or really the story behind them. When I decided to do this series, I reached out to Dalles with hopes to get the full story behind these beautiful pieces of paper that became so much more than that in the moments after talking with her.

Dalles saw Goose for the first time in February 2021 at Stage AE (what a show), with a couple friends/ Moe. fans who brought her along. She liked Moe. but also wasn’t too into this music scene, having enjoyed rap and pop music prior to that. Like most of our lives at one point or another, that we can usually pinpoint, her life was changed as she fell head over heels for Goose. A community beyond music and an acceptance that is indescribable brought her in and she wanted to share it with some pretty special young people, the youth at the schools where she is a therapist.

The audience that Dalles works everyday to help are the youth of a specialized school and placement center in Pittsburgh. They are between 8th and 12th grade and have typically been charged with a felony or have extreme behaviors that need extra attention, which makes them unable to attend public school. She also works with females at a placement facility who are living in the center for 6-9 months to get back on their feet. These youth come from backgrounds where they are not necessarily given the hope or option to change their lives. Dalles’ goal is to empower them and let them know they have the power to change and do better. “From my own experiences hopelessness was real and one of the things that I stress is we do have power!” Graduating with a masters degree from Duquesne University, Dalles has been a therapist for 7 years. She was changed by the help from her school counselor and wanted to do the same for youth who really need it. Enter Goose…

This particular school and placement center uses trauma-informed care where everything is regulated due to grants and funding, meaning they have strict guidelines on treatment for these youth that they need to adhere to. Dalles uses a mindful approach in her trauma focused mental health groups. In these sessions she is allowed to play music, but nothing mainstream or that has any profanity/ vulgarity. She started with meditative music, but this bored the students and didn’t have an impact. After she was changed so powerfully by Goose, she thought this might work! She selected some songs, printed the lyrics and played them for her students in a Blackout Poetry session. During Blackout Poetry they look at lyrics on the paper, find words that stick out to them, and create poems from them by blacking out other words, all while listening to the songs on the sheet. At first, they just thought it was more of her mindful meditative music and exercises and brushed it off... but then they started to catch on.

Songs with heavy bass like Moby and Dripfield got their attention. They then gravitated to pieces with lyrics that resonated like “Fly for tomorrow, tonight” in Redbird and the wise story of Elmeg (kids after my own heart). These exercises took a much larger shape as they began to create poetry and interpret these songs we all cherish in many ways. She began showing them pictures and videos of seeing the band and they were mind blown how they were real, accessible and she got to see them, and even meet Ben! This excited them even more, as they felt like they were close to something and a part of it, a familiar feeling right?

The improvement in her sessions has been phenomenal. The behavioral issues in her classes have decreased significantly as the youth really participate and, like us, look forward to the next Goose adventure. It has even taken to the hallways where they see Dalles in passing, she gives them “Moby Hands” which is a heart shape with both of her hands, they connect for an instant and it brings them back. Back to love, back to Goose, back to the connection they have. A reminder that they have the power to change, to be positive, to grow from whatever they have come from. Thank you so much to Dalles for your incredible work and sharing your story. Thank you to Ms. Hartman’s Groups for providing their blackout poetry for us. And as always, thanks to Goose for the inspiration that once again goes further than any of us know.

If you know someone in our community doing great work or you have a story yourself to be featured, don't hold back, please reach out! We want to hear from you and continue highlighting this incredible community. Go Everywhere, Feel Everything.

Visit Westernsunfoundation.org or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Written by Sarah Blazincic, President, Western Sun Foundation

More Announcements

WSF Kicks Off Charitable Giving Campaign Benefiting Girls Rock Detroit

May 15th, 2023

Western Sun Foundation kicks off our 3rd Charitable Giving Campaign benefiting local organization, Girls Rock Detroit. This is the last Charitable Giving Campaign of our inaugural year!!

Goose Fans Activate for Community Impact Event with Local Chicago Organization

April 17th, 2023

Goose fans share their time and energy by participating in a Community Impact Event with local organization Share Our Spare on Saturday morning of Goose's two night Chicago run. 

Girls Rock Detroit Selected as Charitable Giving Program Beneficiary

Detroit nonprofit dedicated to fostering creative expression, positive self-esteem and community awareness for girls, women, gender expansive, and transgender youth and adults through social justice and music education, activism, and performance selected as Western Sun Foundation's Charitable Giving Program beneficiary. 

WSF Announces Community Impact Event in Chicago to Support Share Our Spare!

We are so excited to announce WSF's next Community Impact Event with local organization Share Our Spare on Saturday, April 15th from 10a-Noon CST at "The Sharehouse" in downtown Chicago, less than 6 miles from The Salt Shed where Goose will be performing for two nights.

WSF Completes Campaign in Support of 914 Cares!

 It was an absolute honor to highlight and support 914 Cares and a pleasure to work with their organization throughout our last Charitable Giving Campaign.

WSF Announces Auction and Flow Kit Supply Drive to Support 914 Cares!

Our online Cap Run Campaign Auction and Flow Kit Supply Drives are now LIVE!

WSF Announces 914 Cares for The Cap Campaign

We are thrilled to announce our next Charitable Giving Campaign centered around Goose's 5 night run at The Capitol Theatre March 8 - 12 in Port Chester, NY!

Terms of Use and other legal stuff updated!

Our Terms of Use, Privacy Statement and Copyright Policy have been updated!  Your use of this website indicates acceptance of these terms.


  Western Sun Foundation

1098 Ann Arbor Road West

Suite 573

Plymouth, MI 48170

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

GooseCommunity is a project of Western Sun Foundation.

Western Sun Foundation is a volunteer-run 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides charitable support to small-mid sized nonprofits in the communities Goose fans travel through.

Federal EIN: 92-0425770