Festival of Music fills Orchard Mall halls

By: Cari DeLamielleure-Scott | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published March 5, 2014

 Gretchko Elementary students perform during the first West Bloomfield Education Foundation Festival of Music in 2013.

Gretchko Elementary students perform during the first West Bloomfield Education Foundation Festival of Music in 2013.

Photo courtesy of the West Bloomfield School District

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WEST BLOOMFIELD — Showcasing West Bloomfield School District’s fine arts programs, the West Bloomfield Educational Foundation will host its second annual Festival of Music at the Orchard Mall from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. March 8.

The festival, which is free to the public, will feature fine arts groups from every school in the West Bloomfield School District — even the preschool — including vocal, instrumental and musical theater performances. More than 200 kids, families and teachers will participate in the event.

“This is a time for us to highlight the wonderful fine arts programs and students in West Bloomfield schools, and to have a bit of a fundraiser for the West Bloomfield Educational Foundation,” said Kathy Sheiko, West Bloomfield Educational Foundation board member.

During the foundation’s premiere festival in 2013, about 250 people attended and donated about $8,000. The foundation was formed in 2002 specifically to raise money to continue the fine arts programs, Sheiko said. Since its founding, the foundation has raised close to $1 million and allocated the funds to the schools in the form of minigrants for teachers, iPads, e-readers, science kits and robotics programs.

“This year, we granted over $12,000 of technological tools and programs to the schools,” said Sheryl Bienstock, chairperson for the West Bloomfield Educational Foundation. “Depending on how much we have, we donate $10,000-$15,000 a year back to the schools.

While the festival is free, the foundation will be accepting donations and kick off its annual $10 for $10K Raffle where ticket holders have a chance to win $10,000. West Bloomfield schools also will present the money raised from the Coins for a Cause program. Students donated about $4,000 in coins and dollars to the weeklong fundraiser in February.

“It should be a fun day, and a day where parents and kids fill the Orchard Mall with music and fine programming,” Sheiko said.

The foundation asks for those attending to carpool to the festival. Valet parking will be available in front of Hiller’s Market.

“We’re just so excited to see all these kids blossom and perform. This is their day, and I’m so excited to see them shine,” Bienstock said.

On the day of the festival, Leaf & Berry will donate 10 percent of their profits to the West Bloomfield Educational Foundation if customers mention the foundation.

“In the grand scheme of things, it’s probably about 30 cents, but it all adds up,” Bienstock said. “The more money we raise, the more we can give to our schools.”

Orchard Mall is located at 6337 Orchard Lake Road in West Bloomfield.

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