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Skaneateles school holiday concerts to raise money for Hurricane Sandy victims

Skaneateles High School Chorus at a concert in October.

Skaneateles High School Chorus at a concert in October.

— The upcoming holiday concerts at Skaneateles will have special meaning and a unique purpose this year. While producing music that is as uplifting and beautiful as ever, students and their teachers have decided to also put the spotlight on fellow residents of New York state who are suffering as a result of Hurricane Sandy.

They are taking part in a “Boots-on-the-Ground” campaign to raise money for residents of the stricken areas. Some of the musicians will be wearing boots as a symbol of Boots-on-the-Ground, and patrons are encouraged to do so as well.

Regular concert-goers as well as residents who may never have attended a music concert are encouraged to come get in the holiday spirit at Skaneateles Schools — while also joining in the campaign to help. The idea is to turn the holiday concerts into a community-wide reflection of the joy of the season, as well as a community-wide focus on those who need help.

It all started with the Interact Club. President Kelly Valente, who is also in choir, said that the Interact Club initially thought of raising money by holding a “live aid” kind of concert.

“But we didn’t want to interfere with the already planned upcoming concerts,” Valente said. “Then we thought, ‘What if we use already existing concerts to promote help for victims of Hurricane Sandy?’”

Principal Georgette Hoskins liked the idea, and the music teachers all did as well.

All of the music teachers are on board. Orchestra teacher Karen Veverka is thinking of ways to add a different twist to concerts — so stay tuned.

Interact Club members will have tables at each event, collecting donations that will help the relief effort.

Valente said Interact members are excited because they are helping people who are working right on the disaster scene: members of the Staten Island Rotary Club, district 7230. The Interact Club has a great track record, having also helped with the disasters involving the tsunami, Haiti and Katrina. Money raised by Rotary goes 100 percent to a cause, as it is all volunteer and there is no administrative fee.

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