Girl Scouts help keep the music going

BEEKMANTOWN Girl Scouts need your help in bringing music to the lives of students at the Beekmantown Central School District. Scouts of service units in Beekmantown and West Chazy are in the process of collecting used musical instruments for the districts music and band programs. The instrument drive was originally an idea of the Beekmantown Elementary Family School Organization, though FSO president Jackie Wnuk said the project was difficult for the organization to tackle. It was too much for us, so through the Girl Scouts, which I am also involved along with my daughters, we suggested it as an idea for our community service project, said Wnuk. The local service units pursued the idea as part of their Mission: Possible project, in which Scouts find worthwhile activities to benefit their communities. The initiative began in May with a kick-off music festival, said troop leader Vicki Marking. There are so many different things we could have done, but theyre things you hear about all the time, Marking said. So, we decided to do this; its something different. In the school districts band programs, students must either rent or buy their own instruments in order to participate, Marking explained. A small amount of instruments are made available for free, but on a first come, first served basis. Our goal is to have some instruments for the school to have set aside if a student cant afford to get their own instrument, she said. In some families, say if you have three children who are in sports and music and other activities, something has to give. This would help more students be able to keep playing. Wnuk, whose oldest daughter plays alto sax, know first-hand of the expense of purchasing an instrument for her child. Weve paid $53 a month for the last three years because we knew she would stick with it, said Wnuk. We were able to buy it, but there are so many students who dont participate because they cant purchase or rent an instrument. While the instrument drive has been going on for more than a month, few donations have been received, leading Marking to make a plea for further assistance from the community. There may be an old clarinet or flute in your attic thats still in working condition and that you know youll probably never use. Thats what were looking for, said Marking. Even if theres a question as to what condition its in, bring it to us and we can show the band instructors so they can make that call. Weve had some donations, said Wnuk, but, we can always use more. The local Girl Scouts will continue to accept donations throughout the summer, Marking added. For more information or to make a donation, contact the Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York office at 563-1560 or bring donations by the office at 323 Tom Miller Road, Plattsburgh.

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