Ale Jahns was recently shortlisted for the 2018 SASSY Awards, for some of the work she’s done with the Leo Club and youth leadership at Walnut Grove Secondary. She’s behind the Gator Music Festival at her school happening this Saturday. (Langley Advance files)

Langley grads host benefit concert for children with special needs

Walnut Grove Secondary’s Leo Club hosts a new Gator Music Festival on Saturday.

As a swan-song to high school life, a team of Walnut Grove students is hosting a music festival this weekend aimed at benefiting children with special needs.

It will be an afternoon of music, featuring primarily WGSS performers and showcasing everything from classical, to pop, to Celtic, explained Alejandra Jahns.

She was describing what could actually become the inaugural Gator Music Festival happening this Saturday afternoon.

“We were discussing what we could do for our final project this year. After completing the Guatemala Project, we had decided that we wanted to do something that would help our local community,” said Jahns.

“We were thinking of what groups had the most need in the community and how we could support them. In the end, we decided to help children with special needs by doing a benefit concert.”

This is the first time that WGSS Leos has organized a concert, so Jahns described it was a “completely new experience,” but one she was anxious to tackle if it means helping local kids.

The Leo Club, a school-based youth division of the Fort Langley Lions, partnered with the Langley Child Development Centre to host this new concert.

Violinists, a school choir, guitarists, singers, Celtic dancers, musical theatre performances, and even a professional harpist are on the day’s schedule.

“The concert will raise awareness and funds for the programs and services offered by the centre,” the Grade 12 student said, adding, “The event is targeted at everyone… We will have all genres of music for everyone to enjoy.”

In addition to the featured musicians, the Gator Music Festival will also include facepainting and crafts.

The event runs from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 26 at Walnut Grove Secondary school, at 8919 Walnut Grove Dr. Outdoor events will be moved inside, in case of rain.

Admission is $5, and tickets are available at the door or at the child development centre in advance.

All proceeds will go to LCDC, which provides services to more than 900 children a year in Langley.

“We aim to help these children with special needs and their families,” said Jahns, who is one of four helping plan the new fundraiser.

“This is a wonderful event that will showcase both the talent and kindness of youth at Walnut Grove Secondary school by creating awareness for children with special needs and their families. We hope that you will come join us an afternoon of fun and giving.”

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