Newark Middle School band and vocal musicians recently raised $710.89 MORE than their goal of raising at least $200 for the “Common Threads” nonprofit childrens’ clothing closet housed in the Woodlane Community Church at 5694 Woodlane.
They obtained sponsors who gave them 10 cents for every minute they practiced their instruments or sang at home during the 7-day period of January 30th through February 5th and raised $856.30.
Rebekah Valerio, NMS band teacher who likes to involve her 6-8th grade band students in a service project each year that draws on her “students’ musicality” came up with the idea of the “Practice-a-Thon” to raise money for a “noble outreach.”
“My mission is to strengthen students’ practice skills and empower our youth to move outside of themselves and proactively help one other and make a difference in their community,” Valerio said “I also wanted to help kids move outside of themselves.”
Her students enthusiastically embraced the idea. They were encouraged to practice every day, not only to strengthen their skills but to support a very worthy cause.
They logged their daily practice time. Their logs were confirmed and initialed by an adult and shown to their sponsors.
The student musicians personally collected the monies pledged from their sponsors after the week-long “Practice-a-Thon” was over.
• 10 kids in 8th grade band participated and raised $159.80
• 6 kids in 7th grade band participated and raised $102.90
• 15 kids in 6th grade band participated and raised $593.60
• In addition, some NMS staff donated even though they weren’t sponsors and that totaled $54.59
This brought the total earned and donated to $910.89
“PLUS an anonymous grandfather that had 4 grandkids go through our Newark music program donated a whopping $200 to the cause!!,” Valerio raved. “The GRAND TOTAL was $1,110.”
Valerio said Student Shout-Outs go to:
• Henry Klemann, who practiced for 210 minutes, and raised the most for Common Threads. He singlehandedly raised $360.00!
• Eighth Grade musicians Matteo Botelho for putting in 423 minutes and Braydan Sherman 100 practice minutes!
• Seventh Grade Musicians Kyleigh Avedisian for putting in 100 practice minutes and Clara Hildreth with 72 practice minutes!
• Sixth Grade musicians Natalie Garland for putting in 420 practice minutes for both band and chorus and Henry Ganster for putting in 140 practice minutes!
And how did Klemann raise so much for the cause?
“I practiced and practiced and had a lot of sponsors. 18 sponsors. I did this because I wanted to help others,” he said.
And what did a few other students say about the fundraiser?
“I gave so much of my time because I wanted to contribute to Common Threads, so I practiced as much as possible,” Botelho said. “It feels good to know I helped especially since that was my main goal when I was practicing.”
“I gave so much of my time, because it’s for a good cause that helps others in need!” Garland said. “I feel great knowing that I helped “Common Threads “achieve their misson! I’m happy that I could help!”
The money raised will be used to purchase new kids socks and underwear for the “Common Threads” that also provides “quality, gently-used” children’s clothing – all at NO COST to those in the community that need it.
Newark resident Sarah Humphrey, an elementary music teacher in Geneva who started “Common Threads” with Bethany Comella four years ago, said:
“We are so humbled and thankful for the hard work that the student musicians from Newark Middle School dedicated to help our cause,” Humphrey said.
“We can ALWAYS use donations of new socks and underwear and the money the students raise will be put to good use,” she said, noting “Common Threads” is open the first and third Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. until noon.