Singers, dancers and steppers all shared their talents during
Kidsmatter’s second “Ignite the Nite” Benefit Concert Showcase.
More than 120 students from all six Naperville high schools were in the show.
“It’s such a great stage to showcase all of the student talent,” said IdaLynn Wenhold, the Executive Director for KidsMatter. “We have incredible talent tonight.”
Kidsmatter is a not-for-profit that helps kids and families deal with the stress in their lives properly so it won’t spiral into dangerous behavior like drugs and violence. Open auditions were held earlier this year to pick the line-up.
“Naperville is such an amazing city and the music programs are excellent at all the high schools, which is evident tonight,” said Linda Thompson, a Naperville resident and mother of a performer from Waubonsie Valley High School.
Before the concert, Kidsmatter’s Executive Director Idalynn Wenhold surprised the Belgio Family with the first “Youth Hero Award.”
“They represent a family who have done so much for this community and for the young people,” said Wenhold. “Either through the Belgio’s Catering where they hire and mentor hundreds of young people over the recent years; and they are such a great example of what a loving family is.”
“It gives them their first job, their first responsibility,” said Tim Belgio. “And it hopefully we can instill some good values in them when they’re first trying to get a job. And hopefully that will carry forward with them in their lives as well.”
Then during the concert, the Pradel family became 2013 “Kids Matter to Me” honorees for their tireless work to help the younger citizens of Naperville and for Mrs. Pradel’s unconditional support of her husband.
“When I retired I wanted to do volunteer work, and then I came down with cancer, but I feel by helping at home, he is able to do what I can’t do,” said Pat Pradel.
Most of the performers joined American Idol finalist Gina Glocksen on stage for the curtain closing number.
Money raised from the concert will help fund programs, events, and workshops for KidsMatter.
City Council and KidsMatter also surprised Mayor Pradel with a proclamation in his honor at their April 16 meeting.
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