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Coulee News: West Salem Musical Makes a Big Difference

02/15/2016 10:53 am

Written by: Tobias Mann, Coulee News

West Salem’s production of “The Lion King Jr.” last month was a big hit with fans, raising nearly $10,700 from ticket sales, merchandise and donations.

The production put on by West Salem elementary and middle school students committed all profits from the show to digging a waterwell in Africa and helping curb hunger back home.

“I’m really proud of the work that our cast and production team put in,” director Amy Hanson said. “It is a little more meaningful to help someone you are never going to meet.”

She said she was humbled by the generosity that was shown by not only the students but all those who purchased T-shirts and donated the cause.

The goal was to raise approximately $9,500 for the Remembering Jesse Parker Foundation, a Tomah-based nonprofit organization dedicated to digging water wells in parts of Africa.

In the end, the production raised $8,200 for the well project. English Lutheran Church helped make up the difference, donating $900 to the foundation. The Parker family donated the remaining $500 for the well project.

Hanson said more than 2,000 people came to see one of the seven shows.

The production became more than a school musical when students in Jenny Morgan’s social studies class, who had been learning about water scarcity, suggested they use the funds raised to fund the digging of a well in Africa.

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To help reach the fundraising goal, Hanson reached out to area businesses for help.

A dozen local businesses donated to the fundraising effort including: Altra Federal Credit Union, First Community Credit Union, Pischke Motors, SSE Music, Beyer Custom Cabinets, Carrolls Frozen Yogurt, Pearle Vision, Northern Engraving, Union State Bank and HG Orthodontics.

Hanson jumped on the idea, expanding on it. In addition to the money raised for the well they would also donate any additional funds to efforts to help feed those in need in the Coulee Region.

The $2,500 raised will be divided between West Salem’s food pantry and the Hunger Task Force of La Crosse.

See the article here.


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