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Oak Lawn Community High School's band, choir and guitar program students will be opening up for “The Rat Pack” on Friday, February 11, at 7:30 p.m. in the school’s Performing Arts Center, 9400 Southwest Highway in Oak Lawn. (Supplied photo)

Oak Lawn Community High School's band, choir and guitar program students will be opening up for “The Rat Pack” on Friday, February 11, at 7:30 p.m. in the school’s Performing Arts Center, 9400 Southwest Highway in Oak Lawn. (Supplied photo)

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Spartan Educational Foundation presents Rat Pack tribute

By Kelly White

Oak Lawn Community High School’s Spartan Educational Foundation is dedicated to helping students fulfill their dreams.

“The Spartan Educational Foundation is continuously looking for opportunities to raise funding to support our student scholarship and staff mini-grant programs,” Michael Riordan, Superintendent at Oak Lawn Community Hight School and Spartan Educational Foundation Board Member, said.

The Spartan Educational Foundation was created in 2004 for the purpose of generating scholarship funding for graduating OLCHS students and allocating funding to promote innovative teaching and learning practices via our staff mini-grant program.

The foundation is governed by a Board of Directors, made up of 14 volunteer members. Since 2004, the Spartan Education Foundation has awarded over $184,000 in scholarships to support its students as they transition to college. Additionally, they have awarded $63,000 in mini-grants that supports its staff and students.

“With the opening of our new Performing Arts Center a few years ago, the idea of hosting a professional music performance to raise funds was born,” Riordan said.

School officials connected with a musical producer and is proud to be showcasing the Rat Pack tribute band as an attraction that will hopefully will generate a lot of interest in the community. The band features Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra cover singers.

The event is scheduled to take place on Friday, February 11, at 7:30 p.m. in the school’s Performing Arts Center, 9400 Southwest Highway, Oak Lawn.

Foundation members said they are fortunate to have a premier sponsorship from the law firm of Odelson, Sterk, Murphey, Frazier, McGrath Ltd. Their generous financial contribution has helped them to offset the cost of the performance, and therefore generate more funding for scholarships.

The cost is $35 per person. All seats are the same price, and there isn’t a bad seat in the house, foundation members said, who are expecting a sold-out performance, with capacity set at 630 attendees.

The funds generated by this event will be used to award student scholarships and to award staff mini-grants. For each deserving student, the foundation will generally award a $1,500 scholarship. The more money raises, the more students that can be award scholarships.

Highlighting the “Rat Pack is Back” is OLCHS’s very own school band, choir students, and guitar program.

“By having our OLCHS student musicians perform as an opening act, we are providing them with the opportunity to display their talents to a large audience,” Riordan said. “These students will also get to enjoy the ‘Rat Pack’ performance and get to observe a professional concert first hand.”

Students involved said they are all proud to be opening up the Rat Pack’s performance, including Caio Cordeiro.

“Being given the opportunity to open for a professional band makes me realize how important being in jazz band truly is,” Cordeiro, 16, of Chicago Ridge, said. “For someone who likes listening and performing music, being in jazz band has motivated me to perform at my best and continue to get better.”

Natalie Anchundia said she is grateful to be given the opportunity.

“Due to the pandemic, I’m sure a lot of musicians missed out on many opportunities to perform, including us kids, so it means a great deal to open for professionals and for this event,” Anchundia, 18, of Oak Lawn, said. “This event will be an impactful experience as it provides an opportunity for us to grow as musicians and share our hard work for our school and our community.”

 

 

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