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Charity concert nets largest donation yet

A free charity concert sponsored by local school choirs raised over $2,600 in donations for the Joseph Sams School.

Choirs from Cleveland Elementary, Inman Elementary, Fayetteville Intermediate, Bennett’s Mill Middle, Fayette Middle and Fayette County High, along with the high school’s wind ensemble, collected the concert’s largest donation in its 5-year history, and more than doubled what was raised last year.

The concert was held Dec. 4 at Harp’s Crossing Baptist Church. All of the proceeds raised directly benefit the Joseph Sams School. This marks the second consecutive year the special needs school has been the concert’s benefactor.

“We really like the idea of a local charity because, as it turns out, many members of the audience have friends or family who have been impacted by the school. Many people came up after the concert telling us stories of children they know who have been influenced by the Sams School,” said Christina Owens, music teacher/chorus director at Fayetteville Intermediate.

The idea for the concert originally began five years ago with Lisa Howe, assistant principal of Fayetteville Intermediate who was teaching music at Cleveland Elementary at the time, retired Fayette County High Band Director Kenny Beard and Fayette County High Choral Director Richard Prouty. They wanted to find a way to give back to the community and involve the schools that feed into Fayette County High.

“I presented the idea to our cluster during the music teacher’s meeting in the fall of 2005. I told everyone that I wanted this to be a concert that gave back to the community and also that I wanted the donations to help support a children’s charity,” said Prouty.

In previous years, the concert collected toys for Toys for Tots. Last year marked the first time the concert collected monetary donations for the Joseph Sams School. Organizers are not sure if the concert will benefit the school next year, but they plan to stay with local charities.

“The concert is a great experience for our students. It helps them learn compassion and giving at a young age,” Owens commented.

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