During the month of April, 19 instrumental and vocal students at the Waldorf School of Garden City took part in a “Practice-a-Thon.” Proceeds from this event benefited Winthrop University Hospital’s Cancer Center for Kids, the largest outpatient facility for treating children with cancer and blood disorders in Nassau County. “It was such a pleasure to work with the children of the Waldorf School of Garden City. Right out of the gate they showed such enthusiasm for our program” said Dr. Mark Weinblatt, Director of the Cancer Center for Kids.
Above: (L-R): 4th grader Mia Ver Pault; Dr. Mark Weinblatt, Director of the Cancer Center for Kids; and Dr. Dale Stuckenbruch, Waldorf's orchestra director.
“My thanks to the Waldorf students who documented their daily practice as well as their sponsors who pledged donations for each minute the students practiced,” said Waldorf’s orchestra director Dr. Dale Stuckenbruck.
When the results came in, a total of 19,495 minutes were practiced and $2,593 was raised. Second grader Margo Cheney and her 7th grade brother Beau practiced over 850 minutes. ”My children practiced an extra 10-20 minutes every day for this event. Not only did they practice for a good cause but their instrumental skills improved dramatically over the course of a month” said current parent Sue Cheney. High School junior Orin Pearce put in a total of 900 minutes of practice time as well.
“While all of the students who participated really did an amazing job, one student went above and beyond all expectations,” said Dr. Stuckenbruck. “Mia Ver Pault in the 4th grade took this challenge – dedicating herself to over 6,000 minutes of practice. She applied herself to practicing every day and raised money and awareness for a very important cause.”
The response for this first-time-ever “Practice-a-Thon” was so overwhelming, Dr. Stuckenbruck is already looking forward to next year. “It is especially rewarding when practicing an instrument results in greater inner awareness that can also be related to creating a better world for others.”