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Mandolins For Kids

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In a few days--meaning when I get to it--the Cafe will be launching an effort to generate support for two worthy programs that have been around for awhile but fly under the radar too much and can use our collective assistance.

These two programs are the California Bluegrass Association's Kids on Bluegrass and the Cool Mandolin Company's Cool Mandolins for Kids.

The good news is that both programs are quite well organized, have success matching young children with mandolins, and the organizers are engaged and involved far beyond what you might expect. It's not simply a hand-out program.

The bad news is both programs suffer from the same problem. Instruments need to be acquired for the lending libraries, and on top of a waiting list in both programs, the quality of most of the instruments donated is sorely lacking. No one needs to start out on a $3K instrument, but at some point, quality can become a negative factor when the instrument isn't up to the task of being playable, and trust me, they're out there being sold daily on eBay.

I see this as an opportunity. Over the years, the mandolin community has supported a lot of good causes such as funding of seed money for the now defunct Plucked String, Inc., sending young students to the Kaufman and Mandolin Symposium Camps, and more recently, ongoing financial assistance and fund-raising activities for Butch Baldassari and his family (and I support the ongoing efforts on the latter).

These are two classy programs that deserve our support. If you're reading this and you're interesting in helping out, feel free to contact me now. No need to wait, but expect to see something more visible in the near future.

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Updated Dec-02-2008 at 7:52am by Scott Tichenor (spelling errors :))

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