Choirs, solo singers, dance groups, and other young entertainers shared their talents in the Wentz Concert Hall as a part of KidsMatter’s inaugural Ignite the Night Benefit Showcase and Concert.
“KidsMatter is hosting this event so that we can showcase the wonderful talents of our kids,” said IdaLynn Wenhold, Executive Director. “They absolutely will ignite the night with the gifts that they have.”
KidsMatter’s mission is to educate and encourage people in the community to build developmental assets in youth. Every year, they hosted an event at Lou Malnati’s pizza and decided to move the performances to a bigger stage, and give the kids a chance to perform in a venue with top acoustics.
“Each one of them, you think you just saw the best and the next one comes up and it’s better,” said Helen Belgio, a Naperville resident.
“The performances are outstanding,” said John Robbins, a Naperville resident. “They’re excellent.”
“The youth in this town continue to awe us and honor us,” said Robert Fieseler, City Councilman. “It’s just such a pleasure to be among them.”
KidsMatter honored the not-for-profit’s founding mothers Mary Ann Bobosky and Marianne Boyajian. In the 1990s Edward Hospital saw a large number of teens had destructive habits, including drugs and violence. The hospital saw a need to end those behaviors, and the two women helped create the Naperville Youth Development Coalition, now KidsMatter.
“They truly helped to ignite the foundation that has become KidsMatter,” said Wenhold.
WGN-TV’s morning weatherman Paul Konrad was the Master of Ceremonies, and Naperville’s own American Idol contestant Gina Glocksen sang a few songs for the audience.
The funds raised from the concert will support the different programs, events, and workshops KidsMatter hosts during the year.
For more information on the not-for-profit, visit their website at www.kidsmatter2us.org.
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