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NewsTribune photo/Scott Anderson Lostant Grade School will benefit from the July 13 Concert for a Cause featuring Thomas Rhett and Cole Swindell. Pictured (from left) are reading specialist Angela Wenskunas, school board president Dianna Ioerger, superintendent Sandra Malahy and Lou’s LaGrotto co-owner Merry Noonan. The school will use the concert proceeds to help with new chapter and novel books.
It’s never easy for Merry Noonan to decide which school gets the money from her annual “Concerts for a Cause” series; but this year Lostant Elementary said the magic word: Reading.
Lostant asked Noonan, co-owner of Lou’s LaGrotto, for funds to send its needy children home for summer with novels and chapter books to bolster their reading skills. Nearly half of Lostant’s students are at or below the poverty line, and the resulting gap in reading skills really shows when school is back in session.
“That letter really tugged at my heart,” Noonan said. “Reading is important to me and my children, and I’ve seen what a difference it makes.”
Lostant Elementary was officially notified this morning that they will receive a portion of the proceeds from the first “Concert for a Cause,” an all-day country music festival scheduled July 13 at Illinois Valley Regional Airport. The lineup includes artists Thomas Rhett, Cole Swindell, Drew Baldridge and Brushville.
Lostant superintendent Sandra Malahy said the proceeds would be used to supply books to students at or below the poverty line, which is about 48 percent of Lostant’s student body. Additionally, Lostant would purchase novels for classrooms and school supplies for needy children.
“I can’t wait to see what this does for them when they come back in the fall,” said Angela Wenskunas, reading specialist for Lostant.
Tickets for the July 13 show are $38 on sale now at Lou’s LaGrotto and Wyanet Carpet, or by phone at (815) 223-3083. Event sponsors are Euclid Beverage and FM-96.5 The Wolf.
Noonan noted the country jam will be the first Sunday show in Concerts for a Cause history. The artists’ schedules dictated a Sunday showing; but Noonan thought a Sunday event would be convenient for area families.
Additional Concerts for a Cause are tentatively set for Aug. 16 and Sept. 13. Noonan said “big announcements” would be forthcoming.
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