Guest post by Kathryn McHenry, Entrepreneurial & Lifestyle Puzzle Solver at Total Solutions 4 Life Agency | Bling Beautique | Small Biz 4 Life Gets Social | Beauty In Nature Photography | Kathryn McHenry is an Orlando native, Entrepreneur & Developer of multiple brands to support local entrepreneurial businesses & active photographer of Orlando’s natural beauty, business development & cityscapes.
SIERRA DENNISTON STORY (More updates soon! Still time to donate! Share this!)
It started with a distinct vision & a dream at the young age of three. While watching a movie about a singer’s drive to attend The Julliard School, Sierra Denniston knew right then & there she wanted to start dancing & singing: “I’m going to Julliard,” she emphatically stated.
Raised by her grandparents since childhood, Sierra did not let an early onset of adversity stifle her aspirations. Their support & encouragement of Sierra’s goals as a classical musician is what has ultimately motivated her to continue on a path to becoming an opera vocalist: “Music has always been there for me, even in the darkest of times. Music is an escape for me. It is something that is dear & special to you. It is your own. It is not anyone else’s.”
“My biggest motivation is my [grand]parents, knowing that they have given up everything for me….knowing that they are supporting me & believe in me. I want to honor this given opportunity,” Sierra emphasized.
Through a downed economy & lofty annual tuition, Sierra’s scholarship to attend the prestigious Interlochen Center for the Arts covers three-quarters of her educational costs. In order to continue her schooling, Sierra has come home to Orlando, FL to hold a series of benefit concerts to showcase her talent & to raise the remaining $30,000 necessary to complete her next 2 years of education.
Sierra received a boost of encouragement & hope this past week when Michael A. Mennello, prominent arts supporter in the Orlando community & namesake of the Mennello Museum, donated $5,000 to Sierra for her schooling in memory of his wife, Marilyn L. Mennello, who loved opera singing. Mr. Mennello issues a public challenge for donor(s) to match his $5,000 donation & has invited Sierra to sing at his upcoming 80th birthday celebration in June 2013.
Sierra exclaimed, “God sent Mr. Mennello to me. His support really makes me believe in myself & lets me know that there are good people out there who believe in me as well. It gives me a sense of confidence. When I found out, I just started crying. It’s a really good feeling to know there are people out there who don’t even know you & are supporting you.”
“I raised $5,000 at Friday’s benefit concert at Park Lake Presbyterian Church. And people are still calling & sending checks. So far, I know that I have raised $10,000 to $12,000, meeting also half my goal for my remaining tuition.” Sierra will return this summer to continue the benefit concert series.
Sierra is encourage by Orlando’s growing interest in the arts: “It is great to see my hometown take an interest in the arts & music. My dream has always been to perform in the Metropolitan Opera. Orlando will always be my home & it’s great to be part of such a community that sees the arts as something great.”
Sierra’s ultimate goal is to be granted a prestigious opportunity to attend either The Curtis Institute of Music or The Julliard School of Music.
To help Sierra Denniston, call the school’s finance office at 231-276-7200 or mail a check made out to Interlochen Arts Academy, P.O. Box 200, Interlochen, MI, 49643, with “Sierra Denniston” written in the memo field of the check.
Donation Info: http://www.sierradenniston.com
Guest post by Kathryn McHenry, Entrepreneurial & Lifestyle Puzzle Solver at Total Solutions 4 Life Agency | Bling Beautique | Small Biz 4 Life Gets Social | Beauty In Nature Photography | Kathryn McHenry is an Orlando native, Entrepreneur & Developer of multiple brands to support local entrepreneurial businesses & active photographer of Orlando’s natural beauty, business development & cityscapes. UPCOMING 5/2/13 FEATURED ORLANDO RAW ARTIST: http://rawartists.org/