25 years ago, Music-Thon was created with the purpose of promoting children helping children through music. The inaugural event began for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Today it benefits the Vitas Hospice Children’s Camp, a place where children can deal with the challenges of losing loved ones and battling hardships of their own. With the expertise of music therapist Tom Dolton, and creator, the Palm Beach County Music Teachers Association, Camp Vitas allows children to connect and cope with others through music, art and drama.
On December 13, the 25th annual Music-Thon, hosted at The Gardens Mall, was the most successful thus far.
“The response from the patrons of the mall was awesome!” said MaryAnn Rothschild, VP of Palm Beach County Music Teachers Association and Music-Thon chairperson. “We had more donations from the public than ever before. This was simply people passing [by], being moved by the music, and putting some money in the collection box. After almost eight hours of continual music, this really added up. Thank you, everyone who gave.”
With close to 12 hours of entertainment and over 350 pieces performed throughout the day, the monies raised were well deserved. A combination of 14 schools and music studios, with a total of 198 performers ages 4-17, was represented at Music-Thon. Guitars, flutes, violins, piano and course singing all helped create the wonderful melody, swimming through the mall hallways.
“We had beginners to concerto players,” Rothschild said. “Every genre of music was put forth through the sound waves. There was something for everyone to enjoy throughout the day.”
A varied plethora of musical genres were heard during the day, including: classical, jazz, blues, Broadway, contemporary and, naturally, holiday tunes.
Months of preparation go into this event and it is surely deemed worthwhile. Along with MaryAnn Rothschild, Pat Johnson and Sally Privett have spent years watching this event grow since its conception. Each year, $10,000 is raised for Camp Vitas. The power of social media keeps this mission alive and the need for support spreading. If you weren’t fortunate enough to stop by the event, you can still donate. Visit www.pbcmta.org or www.vitas.com to see how you can help.