Oak Park PING! party honored founders, highlighted our growth

Opinion

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Thanks to publicity in WEDNESDAY JOURNAL, PING! (Providing Instruments for the Next Generation) held a reception recently to honor its six innovative and energetic founders.

PING! provides musical instruments to children in Oak Park's elementary and middle schools, so that economic circumstances are not a barrier to their participation in our wonderful instrumental music program. From serving a handful of children in one school seven years ago, PING! has grown to serve almost 90 children in all 10 District 97 schools.

Our programs now include a middle school mentorship component, wherein OPRF High School students provide private music lessons and take the students to hear concerts, and music camp scholarships, sending students to residential summer music camps throughout the Midwest with full scholarships.

We'd like to thank the Oak Park Public Library, and several local businesses who helped us put on the party: Caribou Coffee, Great Harvest Bread Co., the Oak Park Bakery, Jewel, Dominick's, Whole Foods, and Winberie's. We thank them all very much.

PING! also thanks the Reception Committee for all they did to make this event so successful: Jana O'Brien, Nancy Drew, Lynn Foster, Pat Lusardi, Brenda Barnes-Jamieson, Joan Hutchinson, Benita Twillie, Lori Weiss, Alison Nelson, Susan Parks, and Hilarie Terebessay, as well as the members of Girl Scout Troop 4770 from OPRFHS, for their assistance.

Numerous OPRF students also provided help and entertainment, including several who played duets with middle school students from PING! whom they mentor and provide music instruction to.

It was a fun day!

We are grateful for all the support that the communities of Oak Park and River Forest provide to us, including ongoing support from the Oak Park Area Arts Council too.

So, thank you, WEDNESDAY JOURNAL.

Joan Winstein
PING! president

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