Local students hold charity recital for children in Liberia
by Staff Writer
HUNTERSVILLE – As their tones echo throughout the hall of Meadowlake Presbyterian Church, the musicians will be working for children a world away.
The recital, held 4-7 p.m. Nov. 17, will showcase the talents of the advanced piano students of Neil Tuttle, along with the flute students of Linda LaBombard, two local residents, each of whom have more than 30 years of musical experience and teach privately out of their homes.
However, this recital, called “Kids 4 Kids in Liberia,” comes with goal to raise at least $10,000 toward starting a school for disadvantaged in children in the war-torn African country of Liberia. The school, to be named for the parent of one of Tuttle’s students, will be called The Rosetta Goweh Woods Christian Academy.
The idea was conceived after Tuttle heard Woods’ life testimony at a local meeting.
“I was invited into a home to tell my story,” said Woods, who fled Liberia in 1991. “It was from that gathering in the spring of this year that he decided to do something about education there, when he heard what I had to say.”
The charity recital wasn’t a new idea for Tuttle. He knew he wanted to have one, but was undecided on what organization to benefit. The group gathered at the initial meeting gave him just the inspiration he needed.
“They were trying to raise some money to give food and school supplies to the kids,” Tuttle said. “Somehow, I just decided I wanted to have some sort of hand in it and help sponsor a teacher and help build a school.”
Tuttle went on to spread the idea around his circle.
“When I found out that several other friends of mine were interested in doing it, too,” Tuttle said, “we kind of put it all together and it ended up being Kids 4 Kids in Liberia.”
To add musical variety to the recital, Tuttle enlisted the support of his colleague, flutist Linda LaBombard.
“I’ve got three of my best senior high flute students performing, and then three of my younger students who have a heart for giving and sharing their gifts,” LaBombard said. “So it’s a total of six kids who are really excited about children over in Liberia using their talents. They all have a passion for their instruments, and giving to others puts a smile on their face.”
To help carry out the mission, Tuttle partnered with Huntersville-based Citi Impact Ministries, which provides food, clothing and school supplies to Liberian children. Woods, whose son, Justice, will also be performing at the recital, is actively involved in the project.
“I’m a Liberian,” she said. “I’ve lived there, and I know how it is. The kids have a passion for learning, but the huge problem is that there are very few opportunities.”