MHS band benefits from Eure memorial donations
Rooster Walk Inc. and American Global Logistics have partnered to buy one new instrument and create a program to repair numerous older instruments for the Martinsville school system’s band program.
The contributions will memorialize Todd Eure, who participated in the city schools’ band program from fifth grade until he graduated from Martinsville High School in 2000. Eure, who died nearly a year ago, played trombone in the concert, symphonic, jazz and marching bands.
Rooster Walk Inc. and American Global Logistics (AGL), Eure’s former employer, made matching $1,000 donations in his memory. Some of the funds were used to buy a new Casio Privia keyboard from Woodall’s Music & Sound for the MHS Jazz Band.
“We’re very proud of the jazz program within our school system, and in order to have a great jazz band, you have to have solid equipment behind that,” said Martinsville High School band director Kevin Lewis. “This keyboard replaces one that’s close to 25 years old.” The jazz band’s previous keyboard began to deteriorate about three years ago, he added.
The remaining funds will be used to create a new instrument donation and repair program that will be overseen by Rooster Walk Inc. As part of the program, Rooster Walk will solicit and accept donations of used instruments from the public. The instruments will be repaired, when cost effective to do so, and donated for use in entry-level band programs by needy fifth- and sixth-grade students.
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Rooster Walk Inc. will increase the amount of the annual Penn-Shank Memorial Scholarship from a single $1,000 award to a $4,000 scholarship awarded over a four-year period.
This spring’s Penn-Shank scholar will receive $1,000 per year for four consecutive years, so long as he or she remains in good standing with their college or university. The merit-based scholarship is awarded each May to one outstanding senior at Martinsville High School through a double-blind jury process.
“We are thrilled to be able to quadruple the value of the Penn-Shank Memorial Scholarship,” said Jason Lagesse, president of Rooster Walk Inc.’s board of directors. “With the rising costs of college, and the continued growth of Rooster Walk Inc., and its events, we felt it was important to increase the scholarship’s payout. All of our sponsors, supporters, attendees and volunteers deserve major credit for helping to make this possible. We wouldn’t be able to do this without them.”
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Rooster Walk Inc. will donate a total of $10,000 to local charities using proceeds from its recent Turn 5 Concert Series beside Martinsville Speedway, which drew more than 3,700 attendees over the course of the Oct. 24-25 weekend.
Event organizers will make donations of $5,000 to the Penn-Shank Memorial Endowment Scholarship Fund, $3,000 to the Martinsville Speedway Children’s Foundation, and $1,000 each to the Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) Student Motorsports Association and the local chapter of the Boy Scouts of America.
“We’re thrilled that the Turn 5 Concerts, which were completely free to the public for the first time, did well enough for us to donate $10,000 to local charities,” said Jason Lagesse, board president of Rooster Walk Inc. “A huge thank you goes out to our sponsors for making the event possible, as well as our volunteers, staffers and the nearly 4,000 music fans who attended at least one night of Turn 5.”
The Penn-Shank Memorial Endowment Scholarship is Rooster Walk Inc.’s primary charitable cause, created in memory of late Martinsville High School alumni Edwin G. Penn IV and Walker E. Shank. Each year, one senior at Martinsville High School is selected as the Penn-Shank Memorial Scholar. With this donation, Rooster Walk Inc. has more than $39,000 to the endowment fund since it was established in 2009.
The Martinsville Speedway Children’s Foundation is a non-profit organization with the goal of improving the lives of children in Martinsville and Henry County. Founded in 2001, the foundation operates separately and independent of Martinsville Speedway.
“We are grateful for all the hard work that everyone with Turn 5 puts in every year to make the race weekend concerts such a success,” said Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell. “We appreciate the funds they raise for the Martinsville Speedway Children’s Foundation, and the opportunity they give our race fans every fall for two nights of fun and entertainment.”
Rooster Walk Inc. will donate $1,000 to the Patrick Henry District of the Blue Ridge Mountains Council of the Boy Scouts of America, which serves Martinsville, Patrick County and Henry County. Specifically, the donation will go toward the STEM Summit for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math that will take place in January at the Virginia Museum of Natural History. More than 60 youth from inner city, low-income and rural areas are expected to participate in the Summit, at no cost to the scouts.
Nearly two dozen students from PHCC’s Racing College of Virginia served as volunteers during the Turn 5 weekend. Rooster Walk’s donation of $1,000 will go to the Student Motorsports Association to provide flexible funding for both classroom and non-classroom activities, including student field trips.
Bands that performed at Turn 5 this fall were: Sunny Ledfurd, Josh Shilling with Fuzzy Logic, Appetite for Destruction, Red, White & Crue, Steady Rollin’ Bob Margolin, L Shape Lot, Kerosene Willy and Southern Funk Orchestra.
Turn 5’s presenting sponsors were: Bassett Furniture, Blue Ridge Beverage – South Boston Division, Frith Construction, Carter Bank & Trust, Morgan Stanley – Kent Cox, Taco Bell, Jim Mills Nissan, Blue Ridge Aquaculture, Daniel’s of Eden, PHCC’s Racing College of Virginia and Martinsville Speedway. In addition, there were more than 20 other local businesses and individuals who supported the event financially or through in-kind donations.
Rooster Walk Inc., is a 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to promoting music, arts and education in Martinsville and Henry County. The company’s keynote event, the Rooster Walk Music & Arts Festival, is slated for May 21-14, 2015 at a new outdoor music venue in Axton, Va.