Foundation sings donation praise

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Foundation sings donation praise

The generosity of a local donor will go a long way towards supporting those in the Limestone Coast with an interest in the choral and vocal arts.

Stand Like Stone has announced the establishment of a new sub fund which not only has a focus of supporting those in the Limestone Coast with an interest in those vocal arts, but at the same time recognises the efforts and commitment to the vocal arts by local devotee Beth McKay. 

Stand Like Stone chief executive Roger Babolka was thrilled with the new concept.

“I’m extremely pleased the foundation has been given this opportunity to assist in establishing the Beth McKay Memorial sub fund, after we were approached late last year by members of the not-for-profit Limestone Coast Choral and Vocal Showcase Group, an organisation that was originally established by local residents of Mount Gambier,” he said

“Beth was one of the original committee members and became the mainstay of the Showcase Group.” 

Mr Babolka said the Showcase Group had links to the local Mount Gambier Choral Society and was established in 2004 with the view to holding an annual Limestone Coast choral and vocal showcase event.

“Over the years the event slowly grew to more than 200 entrants performing over 500 songs by soloists, groups and choirs,” he said.

“Highly qualified adjudicators were engaged to provide encouraging and constructive critiques to each entrant, ranging from under 10 years of age through to open categories and covering all styles of music from classical, modern/pop, jazz and choral works.

“The objective of having the Showcase events was to further musical and dramatic arts in this region and assist performers and the public in appreciating the musical art. However and after 15 years, the COVID-19 pandemic saw the cessation of Showcase, with the final event being held in 2019.

“Much of the success of Showcase was due to Beth, who worked tirelessly giving up much of her time to ensure the annual event happened and that everything went to plan. Sadly, Beth McKay passed away in August 2019. 

“The remaining members of the Showcase Committee reviewed the situation and after many discussions and advice from the local community, it was decided the accumulated funds from the Showcase events were to be invested in supporting the development of choral and  vocal arts in the Limestone Coast.”

Limestone Coast Choral and Vocal Showcase president Judy Renny said the sub fund would provide a big boost to the community.

“We know that a sub fund with Stand Like Stone is a great way to make a real difference to the local community and there’s no doubt that Beth would be thrilled knowing that this sub fund will continue to make a positive impact in vocal arts in this region,” she said.

“But we also need to acknowledge the sponsors and supporters of the Showcase events over the years, for it’s their generosity that’s not only enabled the Showcases to happen, but now also the Beth McKay Memorial Sub Fund.”

Donations to Stand Like Stone are never spent, remaining in perpetuity for the benefit of the Limestone Coast earning interest, which is then provided back to the local community through charitable grants and educational scholarships.  

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