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Opus Bank donates to Voices of the Village
ARLINGTON — Village Community Services’ Voices of the Village musical performance ensemble received $2,225 from Opus Bank on Friday, Feb. 14.
For Claudia Teague, the representative of Opus Bank in Marysville who presented an oversized check to the group during one of their regular Friday open-mic jam sessions at the Arlington United Church from 1-3 p.m., this donation struck a personal note.
“Our foundation is all about trying to find community service organizations who are in need of a little help,” said Teague, whose sister, Norine Vanney, has an adult son in the band. “I’ve seen how being part of this band has helped my nephew Jerry grow and given him a lot of confidence, by giving him opportunities to come forward as part of a group. I sent Opus Bank the information on Voices of the Village, and they earmarked their funds for Village Community Services to go to the band.”
Voices of the Village and the Village Music & Arts program, both for people who have developmental disabilities, are part of Village Community Services, which supports adults with disabilities in achieving their personal potential at home, at work and in the surrounding community.
Jon Dalgarn first organized the band around a decade years ago, and he remains the leader of its current roster of nearly two dozen members.
Voices of the Village includes vocal and instrumental positions for adults with a wide range of disabilities, who have played instruments as diverse as drums, keyboards, accordions, banjos, saxophones and even an Australian didgeridoo.
Dalgarn had already worked with adults with disabilities through Village Community Services’ residential and vocational assistance programs, but with Voices of the Village, he believes that he’s been able to address another area of their development.
“It really changes their lives,” Dalgarn said. “By being able to express themselves in this way, they learn a bit more about how to deal with the world, and the world learns how to deal with them. This is the best gig in the world, because there is so much unmitigated joy in their performances. We hand microphones to people who, in many ways, didn’t have a voice, so that they can sing and hear other people clapping for them. It’s about way more than music. They have a real passion for it.”
While it costs $50 per month to take part in Voices of the Village, scholarships are available. The Village Music & Arts Program also offers an “Evening With the Arts” from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month at the Immaculate Conception Church in Arlington, at a cost of $5.
For more information or to volunteer, contact Michelle Dietz, development director for Village Community Services,s by phone at 360-653-7752, ext. 14, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.