The horror of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary touched everyone’s hearts in different ways. Adults, of course, wanted to squeeze their children a little tighter and ensure the safety that every adult hopes their child feels.
Kids reacted differently and four local students from 10th Street Middle School in Marysville wanted to give back.
Jadelyn Lippmann of Lake Stevens and Nate Novy, Olivia Lee and Carson Mielke, all of Marysville, chose to use their talents to raise money for families who were affected by the tragedy in Newtown, Conn.
Tenth Street Middle School is a music and arts based curriculum school where the kids each play brass instruments.
These four kids put on their Santa caps and headed for Seattle where they put their lips to brass while shoppers were scurrying by.
“We wanted to raise money for Newtown because when we heard about the shooting, the first thing that came to mind was how horrible it is, and if there’s any way to help we should. I felt so sad and mad in many different ways,” Lippmann said. “The day that school got out for winter break, we drove down to Seattle and set up on Westlake. Even before we started playing any music people came up to us and donated. One person even said that they did not even have to hear us play before they donated to Newtown.”
Mom, Dena Meilke saw how the shootings affected the kids and how this idea of playing their instruments for money helped them heal.
“The kids were really affected when the shootings occurred. I am speaking for my son when he said he felt helpless and sad,” she said. “They wanted to show the Newtown community that even though they’re just kids, they cared about them during their horrific tragedy.”
The kids sat out in the cold for over four hours that day and then traveled back to Seattle just a few days later to do it all again.
“It got cold, but it was worth the experience and helping others,” Lippmann explained.
The kids not only impressed their parents by their drive to help others but they also amazed Seattleites who heard them play.
“I made the assumption that these young people were from Seattle. But, no! They are from Marysville,” Frank Greif said. “I found one of the adults accompanying the kids and found out that these young people had decided, on their own, to do something to help heal the terrible tragedy. So they came to “the big city.” (My term, not theirs.) As a lifelong Seattleite I’m really impressed. These kids represent your community in the best possible light.”
After two days of playing their hearts out the kids had raised $1,000. Soon Lippmann was talking to his uncle who works for Starbucks and he got them $1,000 in matching funds from Starbucks.
The kids were thrilled to be able to send the money to The United Way of Western Connecticut where 100 percent of the money will go to help the families.
Lippmann, Novy, Lee and Mielke would like to see the funds help with funeral or other costs these families have to face.
“I know that the money that we raised cannot undo what happened to these families but I hope that it can help them,” Lippmann said. “If it is for funeral costs, scholarship programs or counseling to help the families, we just want the money to help them in any way possible.”
Carson Mielke agrees and hopes that it may even go towards some sort of memorial for the students.