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Hinsdale, Illinois |

Published Feb. 27, 2014                                      

Rockin' out for kids in need
Band Together benefit will support Willowbrook Corner youth

   Enjoy great live music, good food and drinks and the special feeling of extending educational opportunities to under-resourced young people at the inaugural Band Together event from 6:30 to 11 p.m. Saturday, March 1, at The Community House, 415 W. Eighth St., Hinsdale.
   The casual event will be a treat for the ears with performances by School of Rock and Paparockzzi as well as a delight for the appetite with unlimited food, beer, wine and soft drinks.
   Proceeds will benefit The Community House’s Willowbrook Corner Youth Learning Program, which provides learning enrichment and tutoring for kids in kindergarten through eighth grade by certified teaching staff.
   After-school programs, held at Anne M. Jeans Elementary School in Willowbrook, are open to residents of Echo Lane, Hinsdale Lake Terrace, Hinsdale Point, and Waterfall Glen complexes in unincorporated DuPage County. Many
   In addition, summer programs include workshops in health promotion, academic skills, theater, arts and music, as well as educational field trips to encourage students to consider their future careers.
   Trayce Biancalana, who sits on the Willowbrook Corner task force, said the program is a lifeline for families, giving children a safe and supportive environment to learn while the parents are working, often long hours.
   “I’ve seen firsthand how this program has kept these people housed and fed because they’ve been able to hold down a job. For these women and men who are working, it’s just great to know these kids have a snack and had time to get their homework done,” she said, noting that transportation to and from the program is included. “It’s seamless.”
   The Willowbrook Corner Youth Learning Program also aims to support and equip parents through classes.
   “They do some workshops for parents on various things like financial literacy, self-esteem, parenting and more,” Biancalana said.
Professionals are always sought to share insight about their careers to the youth, and the most important quality for a volunteer is having a heart for children.
   “It’s in your backyard. There are kids who could really benefit from the experience that our community has. It’s kind of a win-win for everybody,” she said.
   Biancalana hopes event proceeds will help underwrite an expansion of the program to teens.
   “There’s a big gap in services out there for high school-age kids,” she said.
The aim is also simply to elevate Willowbrook Corner’s profile.
   “I really hope that this raises awareness. A lot of people have actually no idea what Willowbrook Corner is. I think this will be a good opportunity for people to learn about it and think if different ways that they can support it,” Biancalana said.
   So come for the fun atmosphere, she urged, and have a lasting impact.
   “It’s going to be a fabulous musical experience,” she said. “People need to get out and just have fun, and know that you’re benefiting a fabulous cause.”
   Tickets are $50. For tickets or more information, call (630) 323-7500, ext. 255, or visit

— by Ken Knutson




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