Eric Lusby is a 9 year old Suzuki student who studies piano in Danielle Dotson’s studio, and he is quite a remarkable boy. Eric is organizing a benefit concert to help raise money for the education of children in rural Senegal. The concert will include performances by Eric, his teenage twin brothers, and several other children delivering a variety of musical performances. Eric’s mother points out the significance of the concert being planned by children and being performed by children specifically to benefit children. The concert will be open to the public.
Eric’s interest in organizing the fundraiser stems from his mother’s involvement in Senegal. Khady, Eric’s mother, grew up in Senegal and travels back home every year to help the impoverished children of her hometown Nioro with a variety of needs. Khady once visited the library at Nioro’s middle/high school and was saddened to find a tiny room which only had a small sign that read “library” but had no books. How could these children learn with no books? How could the school buy books with no money? Khady donated much of her savings to buy books and other educational needs for the children and it has become her passion to help these children receive an education.
Khady explains that the school rooms she visits are overcrowded and bursting at the seams. There are very few desks in the class rooms and if the students don’t arrive at school early each day they simply don’t get to sit down. Consequently, every day roughly 25 students are relegated to standing in the small, crowded room for the entire day. And yet these children are eager to attend school regardless.
In particular Khady strives to help the girls of Senegal. Because the schools simply do not have the means to educate all of the children, many girls are forced to drop out of school as their education is considered less important than the education of the boys. Khady has been working diligently to reverse this mindset and help these girls receive an education. She renovated a small building she owned and had a second room added on so that it could be used as a school. She donates books, supplies, and other necessities to the children and has written numerous letters to their government requesting they support their schools and provide an education for all children. (continued next page)
Eric has adopted his mother’s passion to help the children of Senegal. He began digging for quarters and loose change under couch cushions and asked his mother if he could send the money he found to Senegal for the children. It wasn’t long before he decided to use his own Suzuki education to help benefit the educational needs of children in Senegal and began planning a benefit concert. Eric asked his mother whether she would be able to add another room to her Senegal school if he was able to raise $100 through his concert fundraiser. Khady said she would try. Together they make quite a team.
The concert will be held February 21st from 4:00 – 6:00 at Community Praise Center, 1400 Russell Road, Alexandria, VA 22301. For directions visit www.cpcsda.org. Tickets will not be sold as Eric has requested instead that donations be made at the door. For more information about the concert e-mail email@example.com.
So what does Eric do when he is not busy planning benefit concerts? Well … Eric is also a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, plays saxophone in his 4th grade school band, plays basketball, flag football, and is thinking about taking up tennis! Eric is quite an extraordinary young man indeed and a wonderful asset to the Suzuki community. Bravo, Eric. Dr. Suzuki would be proud!