MOOSEHEART, IL, August 12 – Giving back to the community has been ingrained into the very culture of the Marquee Youth Stage (My Stage) located in St. Charles, IL. To fulfill their goal of empowering youth, building character, enriching minds, and serving communities, this family-oriented performing arts center has recently built a strong partnership with our very own community, Mooseheart Child City and School.
My Stage's Artistic Director, Connie Flores, believes that every child has potential, a philosophy that is very much essential to Mooseheart’s own motto "Enter to learn, leave to serve."
"There is something so refreshing and amazing about believing in kids and watching them grow and rise beyond the expectations set for them," Flores said.
My Stage has joined hands with Mooseheart on more than one occasion, and it seems to have become tradition.
"Our actors take ownership in helping local communities," said Jennifer Duffy, member of My Stage’s Community Outreach Committee. "We used to have the kids vote to decide which organization they wanted to work with," she continued. "We don’t have to do that anymore. All our kids want to work with Mooseheart."
A fundraiser hosted by the My Stage youth members raised a grand total of $200 for Mooseheart's school renovation project. And the generosity didn't stop there; in addition to the monetary gift, My Stage kindly donated over thirty free tickets to Mooseheart students to attend their performance of The Little Mermaid on August 10th.
"Our kids are very excited [about this opportunity]," Mooseheart's Community Consultant, Debbie Aharoni, said before the show. "Most of the kids know the story and are excited to see it on-stage."
But Mooseheart children who attended got to see much more than what was presented on-stage. Mooseheart guests were invited backstage before the performance to participate in a meet-and-greet. The kids got to ask questions, partake in the vocal warm-ups, and take pictures with the cast and crew.
Three-year-old Cedan Echols enthusiastically stated that he "want[ed] to see it again!" This sentiment was felt by all of the Mooseheart children who attended the event.
"All of the kids had a great time," Family Teacher Christy LeMaster said. "They spent the entire next day singing songs from the play. [One of the kids] Jordan is constantly moving – non-stop motion all the time. But he sat still through the whole play. All of the kids were mesmerized by it."
This underwater adventure was a great success for My Stage and a huge hit for Mooseheart guests. We at Mooseheart are so thankful for the generosity that My Stage has continuously shown towards us and look forward to strengthening our relationship with them in the near future.
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