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Raising voices, raising money

Over 200 people came out to take in an afternoon of music and help a good cause Sunday, April 10, at the 17th Annual Voices of Hope Benefit Concert at the First United Methodist Church in Delmar.

Like in past years, the concert collected donations for Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless, and attendees pitched in about $2,100. That approaches last year's take, but with about half the number people in attendance.

One difference is that the money will go specifically to Interfaith's Summer Youth Program.

We were really excited to be raising funds for those kids, said Nan Rabinow, office manager at United Methodist. "This concert always benefited their general program. We learned about the summer program for the kids a year ago, and just wanted to benefit those kids in some way."

Interfaith's summer camp runs for 10 weeks and gives youth from the Arbor Hill and Sheridan Hollow neighborhoods a place to spend their days filled with activities and also receive a free lunch. The Regional Food Bank helped Interfaith to serve 1,127 lunches last summer.

Kids also get to enjoy arts and crafts, recreational activities and field trips to places like the state Museum of Art and History and Albany Aqua Ducks. Between 15 and 50 children usually show out each day of the program. A backpack of school supplies is handed out at the end to help kids in the new school year.

The concert featured over 100 performers, including the 75-member Capital District Youth Chorale Senior Chamber Choir, with members from all over the Capital District. Several youngsters studying at The Music Studio also performed piano solos.

Interfaith gives out the Norm Elfeldt Award each year to recognize a person who shows dedication to the organization. This year's recipient was Jasmine Hinds.""

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