ACDA Walks for Epilepsy

by KSC choral music education student and ACDA member Amanda Williams

Group photo
Members of KSC’s ACDA chapter are all smiles after a successful Walk for Epilepsy. Back row, l–r: Dr. Jim Chesebough, Danielle St. Armand, Mary Hart (Kaitie’s mom), Emily DeAngelis; front row, l–r: Kaitlin Hart, Samantha McCloghry, Elizabeth Fecto, Amanda Williams.

On Saturday, October 5, the Epilepsy Foundation of New England hosted the annual New Hampshire Walk for Epilepsy in Concord to raise awareness and funds for research into this medical condition. The Epilepsy Foundation was established in 1967 and is funded primarily through donations as well as sponsored events.

Student and Vice President of the Keene State chapter of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) Kaitie Hart has been involved with this event for a few years; she is very close to the family that runs the New Hampshire walk. Hart has watched participation for the New Hampshire walk grow over the years, so she decided to keep the momentum going and raise even more awareness for this cause.  KSC’s ACDA chapter realized this would be an effective way to make a difference in their community, so six of their members decided to join the walk, supported by Hart’s mother and Associate Professor of Music Jim Chesebrough.

As the team walked along Concord’s Main Street, they held a sign that read “American Choral Directors Association supports finding a cure for epilepsy.” They got lots of encouragement as people honked their car horns in support. After the walk, everyone gathered at the Kimball Jenkins Estate for raffles, games, and a great lunch provided by Olive Garden. To end the day, ACDA also helped clean up after the event. As a whole, the walk was a wonderful event that brought community together and a great form of community service for KSC.

“It was great to see students from KSC involved in a community service at the state level,” Dr. Chesebrough commented. “It’s also just plain fun to be able to interact with our students in a non-academic context.”

“I really want to thank the group for coming and helping out,” Mary Crowell, NH Field Service Coordinator for the Epilepsy Foundation of New England, wrote to Dr. Chesebrough after the event. “Kaitie is like our third daughter, but she still went above and beyond by getting the group to come and help. Circumstances what they turned out to be, I couldn’t have been happier or more pleased with the group. They are a dynamic group to say the least.”

The Keene State ACDA chapter raised $480 towards the event total of $7,421. Keene State’s ACDA chapter is planning to make this walk one of its annual events; it’s hoping that more members participate next year. Mark your calendars: next year’s walk will happen on October 4, 2014.