Local music students raise more than $150,000 for sick kids

Pictured from left: (back) Noel Wentworth, Wentworth Music; Doug Rankmore, KGH Foundation; Laura-Lee Regnier, KGH Pediatrics; Rickie Tyle, K96.3; Sonya Barker of Interior Savings;(front) Lucas & Holly Wentworth
Image Credit: Contributed/KGH Foundation

KELOWNA - On June 25th, 2016, the teachers and students from Wentworth Music Education Centre presented their 20th Anniversary Tribute concert to a sold-out crowd of friends, family and the community.

In addition to being an outstanding showcase of talent and showmanship, the concert raised a record $10,464 for pediatric care in the North and Central Okanagan, bringing the nine year cumulative total for the well-known, local music school to over $156,000 for the cause.

Owner, Noel Wentworth, was overjoyed. “I am so happy for our students to experience the thrill of performing to a live audience,” says Wentworth. “But the most amazing thing is that these kids are sharing their extraordinary talent to help sick children. It is the ultimate gift to help others through what you love to do.”

The concerts, sponsored by Interior Savings and K96.3, were inspired by Wentworth’s desire to give his students a platform for showcasing their talents in a more dynamic way than the traditional music recital. Students would perform to an audience of adoring fans, the caveat being that all money raised would be donated to pediatric care in the region.

Wentworth recalls an early cheque presentation at the children’s ward at Kelowna General Hospital. “I was dressed up as Gene Simmons from KISS,” laughs Wentworth.  “I met a little boy who was very sick. He was so grateful to see me in my funky get-up, to just shake my hand… and I knew in that moment that we were doing the right thing, that we had a responsibility to help these kids. Little things make a big difference.”

Funds, donated to the KGH Foundation, go directly to supporting the equipment and patient care needs for the children’s ward at KGH beyond what the government can finance.   “The amount that they have raised is incredible!” says Bettina Muller, Events and Project Coordinator at the KGH Foundation. “We just adore the Wentworth family and are so grateful for their support. This is such a wonderful way to raise money for sick children in our community.”

Wentworth Music celebrates its 50th year in business this year. They have recently been selected as a top three finalist for Music Stores & Schools by the National Association of Music Merchants, a global organization with over 10,000 members world-wide.

The KGH Foundation is an independent, volunteer-driven charitable organization committed to enhancing the delivery of healthcare to the patients of Kelowna General Hospital and its associated facilities.


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