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Vanessa Izar-McFadden's Fundraiser:

Support Merit School of Music - developing musical & personal potential

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BENEFITING: Merit School of Music

Vanessa Izar-McFadden


Even if you live outside of Chicago, you're probably aware of the city’s reputation for senseless gang and youth violence. Unfortunately, it’s a sad reality. Also in the news often is the lack of funding for public schools and the resulting elimination of music and arts education.

Merit School of Music is a local non-profit that is trying to address these issues and provide affordable, high-quality music education to youth throughout the city of Chicago. Merit provides high-quality music education to 4,000 students in the Chicago area, most of whom are in economically challenging situations at home, and come from some of the roughest parts of town. I’m proud that Merit’s programming provides alternatives for kids that engage and enrich their lives, while keeping them off the streets after school and on Saturdays. Students have a wide range of course offerings, such as instrumental and vocal music, jazz, opera, and music theatre, and access to life-skills workshops and mentoring facilitated by volunteers such as yours truly. :)

Growing up, I played the violin and sang in concert choir for many years. While these days I only “perform” at the occasional karaoke night, my love of music remains. Music education taught me many life skills that have been invaluable. When kids learn music, they learn self-discipline, perseverance, tolerance, problem-solving, and teamwork. All of these skills translate into overall success in life and career which I can personally attest to. This is why I believe so much in the mission of Merit School of Music. 

Please join me in supporting this worthy cause! Here are some examples of how your gift could make an impact:  

$50 provides sheet music for one entire children’s choir concert  

$100 ensures low-cost instrument rental for one student for the entire year  

$250 allows one student to attend Merit’s summer camp  

$500 provides performance clothing for five students  

$1,000 provides weekly individual (private) lessons for one student for the entire year  

$2,500 provides students safe transportation by charter bus from their neighborhood to after-school classes at Merit  

$ 5,000 covers the expenses for two Conservatory-level students

$10,000 provides financial aid for ten low-income students

Thank you for your support of any amount!


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2 years ago