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Musical performances helping Dawn Center

By BILL NEWELL

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 26, 2000


They say it takes a community to raise a child. A corollary might be, it takes an aware citizenry of many to save a community in today's troubled times. Everyone's safety and sanity are at stake. Communitywide awareness of their government's behavior is just as essential as a parent's awareness of a child's behavior.

Lack of awareness can bring unexpected tragedy in the home or in the community. Vigilance is absolutely essential.

This is a day of violence against and by children, and illegal drugs are readily available on street corners, in schools and the homes of "friends." This is a day when our nearest and dearest may be killed by youth entrapped in the web of domestic violence and gangs.

This is the day of road rage, kidnappings and illegal immigrants entering our country in small boats from Cuba or rickety ocean vessels from China.

This is the day when we wonder if our neighbors are sending pornographic messages over the Internet or secretly punishing their baby with a burning cigarette.

This is the day when we have huge corporations contaminating our environment and poisoning us with addictive substances; genetic alteration of plants and animals is common now, and humans are next. Yes, we need awareness. We need to speak out, as did Erin Brockovich against the contaminators of the water supply in a California county.

Hernando County public officials, businesses and the thinking citizenry must work together to fight the forces of evil. This means we must all see ourselves as part of the great scheme of community development and stability. If we don't see ourselves as part of the solution, we are part of the problem. Eternal awareness and vigilance is the rallying cry.

There are many networks of social agencies and volunteers we can join to make Hernando a safe and pleasant community. There is the Dawn Center, which is working to provide a shelter, education and counseling advice to traumatized children and families. There is the Fine Arts Council, cooperating and planning to bring the healing balm of creativity and the arts to the county. There are many social agencies, such as Daystar and the 22 United Way agencies, that strive daily to help us all in various ways.

We urge everyone to fit themselves into the picture. The federated Spring Hill and Brooksville music clubs are doing their part by sponsoring a number of musical events as a fundraiser to help build an administrative complex for the Dawn Center network of services. All that is asked is for residents to watch the newspapers for the places and times and attend, and make free-will offerings according to the dictates of their conscience.

The federated clubs selected the week of May 7-14 because these dates coincide with the 77th annual celebration of National Music Week. For many years, the Spring Hill federated club has celebrated by honoring the public school music teachers and giving more than 20 scholarships to students planning to major in music in college.

During the National Music Week fundraisers, the Spring Hill club will celebrate the unifying power of music in its annual awards night, May 12. Winners of the school music essay contests will read their essays. Two very talented music scholarship winners will perform, and members of the Jane Stevenson and Jeannine Zack junior clubs will entertain.

The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. at Grace Presbyterian Church. Join us there, and also attend the many musical events during the week, starting May 7 at 3 p.m., with a recital on the historic organ of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church. Organist Michael Bayus, who is blind, will thrill you with his performance of the classics.

At Weeki Wachee Springs pavilion, there will be music at the other end of the spectrum when the "Hearts of Rock and Roll," the Tom Langone Trio, will perform favorites of the '50s and '60s. There are two other performances that day, and 25 for the week.

If you miss the announcements of times and places of concerts in the papers, you may call the Dawn Center for information about the 25 scheduled events the week of May 7-14 at 596-9976.Bill Newell is a public relations representative for the Dawn Center. He lives in Spring Hill. Guest columnists write their own views on subjects they choose, which do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.

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