February 18, 2008

Klassics for Kids Gala set for Feb. 29 at SIUC

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Here's a solution to the quandary about what to do with that extra evening in February – attend the Klassics for Kids Gala.

The fundraiser event is from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Feb. 29 at the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center. The Swivel Rockers provide the live music; the hors d'oeuvres and desserts, local wines and beer help it all along, and as gala-goers mingle they can bid on silent auction items or take a chance in the 50/50 raffle.

The auction features art from local artists and from children in SIUC's Child Development Laboratory. Area businesses also donated to the fundraiser. Some of the items will go as packages and sets. And for parents who need to get out more, there are babysitting packages in the auction.

The gala is also a great time to buy a CDL or Klassics for Kids T-shirt, or pick up a Kroger card that benefits CDL. Lori Van Horn, director of the Child Development Lab, explained that using the Kroger card benefits CDL at 4 percent of the amount spent without costing the Kroger card user any extra money at all.

The proceeds will be divided between the Child Development Laboratory and the Klassics for Kids program. Both programs benefit the youngest citizens of the area. Klassics for Kids introduces young children to classical and jazz music in free monthly performances geared to an infant to pre-school age group. The CDL is a lab school for students in the early childhood education program.

"Klassics for Kids provides area families with some really awesome musical experiences they wouldn't otherwise have," Van Horn said. "CDL provides experiences for students who want to work with children birth to age 8 as certified teachers or in other agencies for children and families. It also provides children in the community with high-quality educational experiences that prepare them to be critical thinkers and life-long learners."

Tickets for the event are $17 if purchased by Feb. 22. Cost is $20 after that. Tickets are available by phone orders at 618/453-4221 or by mail, payable to the SIU Foundation. Mail to Lori Van Horn, Child Development Lab, Mail Code 4320, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale IL 62901.