The Marquette Catholic High School girls volleyball team got satisfaction beyond just a victory over Brussels High School on Sept. 27. The Explorers also hosted “Volley for Music” to benefit the Music and Memory program at Alton Memorial Hospital’s Center for Senior Renewal.
The evening brought in more than $1,000 cash, $280 worth of iTunes gift cards and 32 CDs. Much of the cash came from the sale of special “Volley For Music” T-shirts, plus a 50/50 drawing was held. Also included in the total was a generous donation from the visiting Brussels team.
“I am just overwhelmed,” said Meredith Parker, program manager for the AMH Center for Senior Renewal. “It’s very special to have these high school students give so generously.”
“The girls are very community minded and we wanted to do something to benefit a local organization,” said Marquette head coach Sue Heinz, who also works in Physical Therapy at AMH. “Many of us have relatives and friends who have had memory-related illnesses, so this is close to the heart of many of our coaches, players and fans. We can help bring awareness, raise money and have fun all at the same time.”
Millions of aging Americans face cognitive and physical difficulties and have left behind their familiar surroundings, familiar faces, and even their favorite music. The Music and Memory Project helps find renewed meaning and connection in their lives through the gift of personalized music.
“We all know the power of song can trigger vivid memories from our past,” Parker said. “It can transport you back to a time and place as well as can bring back strong, emotional memories. Music stimulates many parts of the brain simultaneously, so even though someone suffers from Alzheimer’s and the brain deteriorates in some areas, there are other areas that are still very much intact.
“We are so grateful to the Marquette and Brussels volleyball teams for their help in building our music library. The Music and Memory Project works with patients and their families to create personalized playlists to stimulate those memories, allowing both families and patients feel emotionally connected to one another, improve patients’ moods and manage stress.”
Elvis impersonator Steve Davis was also on hand to pose for photos for a small donation and sing the National Anthem. “Volley for Music” Fans were also encouraged to bring used CDs and/or iTunes gift cards.
“This project will really help some folks connect to a different point in their lives and help them open up,” Parker said. “Our goal is to give them maybe 150 songs on their playlist. We will ask them or their family members things like their musical preferences, genres, eras, songs that were played at their prom or their wedding, and even their religious denomination or if they were in the military.”
Pictured above left: Meredith Parker, center, program manager for Alton Memorial Hospital’s Center for Senior Renewal, accepts gift bags of CDs, iTunes gift cards and cash from members of the Marquette Catholic and Brussels girls volleyball teams on Sept. 27.
Above right: AMH employees in attendance at the volleyball match included, left to right, Kristen Ryrie from the Development office, Meredith Parker of Senior Renewal, Mary Holmes of the Inpatient Behavioral Unit and Daniel Strohbeck of Senior Renewal.