Chapel Hill: Opinion

March 26, 2014

Roses and raspberries, March 26

Roses to organizer John Santa and all the strummers and pickers at this year’s Chapel Hill and related Marathon Jams.

Roses to organizer John Santa and all the strummers and pickers at this year’s Chapel Hill and related Marathon Jams.

The 24-hour bluegrass jam session raised $18,000 for the Fort Bragg Fisher House. Fisher Houses are temporary homes where warm, caring people help soldiers and their families through a loved one’s serious medical condition. Any family member of an active duty or retired service member being treated at a military hospital may stay for free. In some locations, outpatients may also stay.

In a note, Santa said this year’s total includes money from jams in Naples, Fla.; and Monrovia in Liberia, Africa. and closer to home, Boone, N.C. where “Willow Dragon at 13, became so frustrated that adults could not organize a Marathon Jam that she created and played “the first ever solo Marathon Jam in the history of the world.” The teenager played fiddle and banjo for over four hours, raising over $800.

“I cannot even begin to tell you what it feels like to know that on the last Saturday in February people are gathering and using music and art to help others in their time of need,” Santa writes. “And here’s the coolest thing, the best part of my job: It is my great honor to announce that in six years of Marathon Jams, we have raised almost $750,000 for Fisher Houses all over the USA. Not bad for a buncha reprobate musicians and artists, huh?”

Speaking of marathons, roses to the organizers of the 16th annual UNC Dance Marathon for raising $551,595.87 this year. It was the most money collected in the history of the 24-hour N.C. Children’s Hospital fundraiser, organizers said.

The previous record was set in 2012, when the dance marathon raised roughly $484,000.

This year’s event attracted over 2,000 people, who were divided in 33 teams – one for each of the patient co-captains from the children’s hospital. Organizers said every kid co-captain at the event has benefited from the dance marathon in some way.

Roses from Sarah Silberstein to TABLE.

“When early school closures and multiple snow days looked inevitable, the incredible group at TABLE worked late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning so that we could provide the weekly bags of food for the children at Seawell a few days early – I know it made a huge difference! Thank you for all you do to support our community!”

Roses from Gretchen Capps and Laura Dudley to George Linney and the staff of Fleet Feet Sports in Carrboro.

“While on a field trip visiting businesses in Carrboro on Feb. 21, our grade class got caught in a tremendous downpour just outside of the store. Mr. Linney ran out to us and invited us in. Not only did he allow 20 third graders to drip all over the store, he gave us a tour, keeping with our theme of goods and services in businesses, allowed the children to try out some equipment and even gave us Tshirts! We are so grateful to them for taking us in and giving us a fantastic presentation and experience.”

Roses from East Chapel Hill High parents to Julie Paladino and Ryan Ellison for their dedication and commitment to making the Barnes and Noble book fair a huge success.

“This event raised close to $800 for the Library and Media Center. The money will be used to purchase new E-Readers and DVDs. The event also showcased our schools many talented groups, including Jazz band, String groups, Alley Cats, Chiefs of Staff and Spanish Singers.”

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