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Charities share the gifts of music, dance and new friends

Share the Warmth’s youth programs—including youth group, music and tutoring—gets a boost June 8 with its seventh annual golf tournament.

Our youth will respond with an end-of-season concert June 10, where those invited got to see the children perform on keyboard and guitar. The youth group presented an art exhibition at the concert.

Youth play a concert at Share the Warmth last year. Introducing kids to music is a way to give back. Photo courtesy of Share the Warmth

Introducing children to music is another way of giving back. For some, it is their only vehicle to express themselves.

One of the youngsters in the youth group asked the co-ordinator: “Who is your parole officer?”

In that one question, we understood why we have a youth group, why animators and volunteers become role models, and why we offer music, tutoring and scholarship programs. , 514-933-5599.

In the summer of 2009, Sun Youth created a program to introduce children to music.

The public was asked to donate used musical instruments. They offered guitars, keyboards and drum parts. The first to benefit from this program were the Sun Youth Day Camp children. Every summer, the young campers receive an active introduction to music, as they get their hands on the various instruments in the music room, with a focus on percussion.

Dave Rizk teaches guitar. (Photo by Nicolas Carpentier)

Head teacher Dave Rizk gives weekly individual and group lessons to older children (up to 17 years old). The program concentrates on bass guitar, but future plans include guitar, drums and piano lessons. Dave’s ultimate goal is to form jazz combos and provide a solid background for young people who wish to pursue their musical studies at the CEGEP level and beyond.

His dream is to form a big band that would take part in regional and national competitions to provide a positive outlet for teenagers at risk. It’s also sure to give them a life-changing experience. , 514-842-6822.

When I think of my father, Louis, I smile and feel his warmth.

He was happy, even more so when he broke into an impromptu display of tap dance. He often lamented about various musical contemporaries, the Nicholas Brothers, Sophie Tucker, Louis Armstrong and the like. Music was in his genes, though not manifested like his grandfather’s, who was a cantor. At 13, my father toured with the Johnny Jones troupe and sometimes on his own.

He captured that spark, which was music, that thread of joy, which continued throughout his life even though he later embarked on a different career.

At summer camp a similar spark is ignited that can launch the future dreams of many children. As a camper, a child will enhance his or her life in new challenges, friends and lasting experiences. Generations Foundation is accommodating requests for counsellors- in-training in addition to hundreds of regular campers.

Campers progress without prodding or pushing. They either like the experience or they do not, but 99 per cent of them do! Generations Foundation remains committed to the country camp experience and reaches out to children to help them find their niche, whether a hobby, like my dad, or a career.

Visit or call 514-933-8585.

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