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Helping local children is in the cards

Those young Broughal Middle School students who were selling candy and South Side discount cards outside the Dining Hall three nights a week last month were doing more than soaking up the atmosphere on the Lehigh campus. They were helping their bandmates afford opportunities to participate in and play in band competitions, and possibly keep music a part of their lives for years to come.

The on-campus sales of the yellow South Side discount cards were made possible by the support of the Lehigh community, which recognizes the role music can play in education, says Kim Carrell-Smith, a professor in the history department and parent of a member of the Broughal Middle School Band.

“It’s so important that Broughal kids have these opportunities,” says Carrell-Smith, who also serves as a band parent. “But the band at Broughal is so broke that we couldn’t even afford to raise the funds to buy fundraiser candy for our traditional candy sale, or to replace some broken instruments—much less pay to send the students on an annual competition trip.”

The value of music

Carrell-Smith says she and other band parents were heartened by the decision made by Barry Gaal, associate vice president of business services, to make the discount cards available through the Lehigh Bookstore.

“This is an amazing example of how Lehigh supports the immediate South Side community through both the Broughal students and the merchants,” she says.

The $6 “Broughal Cash Card” allows the holder of the card to receive discounts for an entire year at South Side restaurants, including Deja Brew, Perkins, Jazzman’s, Sal’s, Goosey Gander, The Cup, Quizno’s, Lehigh Pizza, Third Street Chicken & Ribs, Wendy’s, Papa John’s, and other establishments. Proceeds from the cards sold by the Broughal students will directly benefit the Broughal Middle School Band.

The students have been aided in their efforts to sell the cards by Kappa Kappa Psi, the Lehigh band/service fraternity, whose members joined Broughal students outside the dining halls at Rathbone and the University Center at dinner time on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout October.

“They’ve been great to the Broughal students,” Carrell-Smith says. “One year, they even helped to buy instruments and they provided scholarship funds for some of the children so that they could afford the annual competition trip when we were truly desperate.”

Carrell-Smith theorizes that not only are the Lehigh students sympathetic to the plight of the cash-strapped Broughal music program, but that the members of the Kappa Kappa Psi fraternity recognize the valuable role music can play in the lives of the young students.

“Numerous studies show that students with significant instrumental music and vocal training do better in math and physics,” she says. “It’s the experience of listening, the discipline—just the fact that the kids have to practice and maintain a routine is helpful. Their involvement with music also instills a sense of pride and identity and accomplishment.”

The Broughal students who go on to be a part of a band at a local high school will also reap additional benefits, she says.

“Aside from making beautiful music and being part of a community of great kids, there are opportunities to travel and be a part of some great experiences,” Carrell-Smith says. “It’s our hope that the Lehigh community can continue to see the value of music in the lives of these children and support this worthy cause.”

--Linda Harbrecht

Posted on Friday, November 19, 2004

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