A new holiday event will help a local family in need.

Madison County High School seniors and Blue Ridge Virtual Governor’s School (BRVGS) students Olivia Young and Grace Eberhardt have organized a holiday music night Saturday. The event will raise money for a local family in need as part of the students’ senior project. Students in the BRVGS program are challenged to complete a senior project that will make a difference in their community. Classmate Alex Kreh hosted a 5K Saturday to raise funds for the UVA Cancer Center’s boutique as well as to bring awareness to the increased health risks first responders face.

Eberhardt said she and Young have seen many local families struggling with medical bills. Both felt it would be amazing to help one such family. The students partnered with Eleanor Mower and Phyllis Browning with Madison Emergency Services Association (MESA). Eberhardt said the two have been amazing in helping she and Young achieve their goals for the project.

“Ms. Mower and Ms. Browning will actually be selecting the local family,” Eberhardt and Young said. “They currently have several in mind through their work at Barbara’s House [a transistional housing program for families in need], but the family will likely not be notified until we have the funds ready to go.”

Eberhardt and Young hope to raise at least $3,000 by April. They hope Saturday’s holiday music night will help them to reach that goal.

“We chose a music night because there are a number of enormously talented local musicians who are thrilled to help our cause,” Eberhardt said. “It was actually a local band, the Pickin’ Daisies, whose talent and love for their community inspired us to reach out to a number of bands and performers to make the event happen.”

Several musicians will perform Saturday including sister duo Clare and Frances Sukley; elementary schooler Thea Lewis; elementary schooler Sean Hertzler; local band Scuffletown’s Marc Carraway; the Pickin’ Daisies; Thea Robertson and Greg Harpine; pianist Jonah Clatterbuck; elementary schooler Juliet Lamb; and elementary schooler Isabella Thornton.

The performers are mainly volunteers with several of the older performers coming recommended by other bands.

“Olivia and I envision our event as including a wide variety of performers from different age groups and genres, so we worked alongside Mrs. Brenda Lyddane, a wonderful music teacher from Waverly Yowell, to recruit some young performers,” Eberhardt said.

This is the first of several fundraisers Eberhardt and Young will hold to reach their project goal. It’s possible they’ll hold another music night should this one prove to be a success.

“Neither of us are musicans, but we’ve absolutely loved learning a bit about the music world,” Eberhardt said. “It has been amazing to see the number of students and community members alike stepping up to help us make it happen.”

The holiday music night will be held Saturday, Dec. 15, 4-8 p.m. In the Madison County High School Auditorium. The entrance fee is $5. Donations are also appreciated.

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