Dr. Anibal Pepper, a noted surgeon in River Forest, is from Arequipa, Peru. Though he left his hometown decades ago, he has not forgotten his roots. In fact, he has worked hard to link Arequipa and River Forest.
The primary tie is through the sister school relationship between Roosevelt Middle School and Livia Bernal DeBaltazar Middle School in Arequipa. Pepper, whose three children attended Roosevelt, suggested the connection and school leaders have built upon it through pen pal relationships and intercultural education.
Friday night the link will be tightened further as Roosevelt will host a concert and silent auction to raise funds for both DeBaltazar school and local programs to fund musical instruments for students in need.
DeBaltazar is a K-6 girls school of just under 200 students. Its most immediate needs are school supplies and musical instruments.
A portion of the concert's proceeds will also go to the Music for Life program which is overseen by the Gasse School of Music in Forest Park. The program provides music lessons and instruments for local children whose parents cannot afford such services.
"A Little Night Music" is the fifth and final concert at the school this year. The program will feature 15 acts, with students, teachers and parents all performing. During intermission a silent auction will be held. A range of items including jewelry and certificates for spa services will be auctioned. Most items were donated by school parents.
The concert is sponsored by Parents Instrumental Music Association (PIMA). It is a fund-raising program started four years ago to raise funds for various musical programs at Roosevelt.
"We've had great successes in the past. But this will be our first time donating the proceeds to our sister school in Peru," said Kevin Crowell, PIMA president. Crowell said the concert looks promising. "We are really looking forward to another successful year. We've had a great number of ticket sales and a lot of talented performers signing up.
Tickets for the April 29 concert are currently on sale?#34;$10 for a single pass and $25 for a family pass. Tickets will also be available at the door on the night of concert. Frances Kraft, publicity manager for the group said approximately 300 tickets have been sold so far.
Roosevelt is located at 7560 Oak Ave., River Forest.