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  • Christina Mehta Prendiville

Annual Benefit Dinner Showcase for The Music Foundation to be held January 24


The 16th Annual Benefit Dinner for The Music Foundation of Southwest Florida is scheduled for Tuesday, January 24, at The Helm Club at The Landings Yacht, Golf, and Tennis Club in Fort Myers. The fundraising celebration will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. during which a social hour and silent auction will be followed by dinner and performances by the foundation’s 2016 high school scholarship recipients.

The Annual Benefit Dinner is the main source of support for the programs that The Music Foundation sponsors. The non-profit’s mission is to offer programs that reach out to the young people in our community, including its Summer Music & Arts Camps, Fifth Grade Travelling Instrument Program, Double Reel & Music Festivals and High School Summer Music Camp Scholarships. Each year The Music Foundation benefits more than 4,000 students with its programs and awards $12,000 to $16,000 each year to disadvantaged and deserving students.

Several of the award-winning high school scholarship students will perform at the showcase dinner. They are: Carly Fulcher, cello; Jonathan Gardella, viola; and Karen He, piano. There will be a special performance by the San Carlos Park Elementary Chorus directed by Kristen Beatty and the evening will conclude with performances by Jason Thomashefsky, saxophone; and Nadia Marshall, soprano.

Ruth Christman, executive director of The Music Foundation of Southwest Florida, said, “We recently changed our motto to: ‘The Music Foundation of Southwest Florida aims to enrich and transform the lives of young people by igniting and nurturing the lifelong joy of making music.’

“Each year we award scholarships to talented high school music students to attend a summer music camp or program. The Annual Benefit Dinner allows us to do that. Some past scholarship students have attended music programs at Interlochen, Tanglewood, Brevard, Indiana University, Torggler Summer Vocal Institute at Christopher Newport University, Florida State University, and many others.“

The week-long Summer Music & Arts Camps, primarily for middle school students, offer master classes, music theory, note-reading, and proper practice skills. Camps are held at Paul Laurence Dunbar Middle School in Fort Myers and staffed by faculty who are active professional musicians and/or music teachers selected for their expertise and ability to share their enthusiasm and knowledge with the aspiring musicians.

Tickets to the Annual Benefit Dinner are $50 each. To purchase tickets or for more information about the High School Summer Program Scholarship auditions and the Summer Music & Arts Camps call Ruth Christman at (239) 275-0057 or go to https://www.music-foundation.org.

The Helm Club at The Landings Yacht, Golf, and Tennis Club is located at 4420 Flagship Drive in Fort Myers.

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