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Meaghan Zaremba Music Room now a registered charity

May 30, 2019   ·   0 Comments

Written By JOSHUA SANTOS

The Meaghan Zaremba Music Room is looking for more support now that it has a charitable status.

Composed of volunteers, the grassroots organization operates from Tisho’s Music Academy. They are focused on providing music lessons to those who struggle physical and mental challenges.

“It’s amazing what they can absorb,” said Mary Balinov, co-owner of Tisho’s Music Academy in Bolton. “I think with any kind of disability and mental illness, we tend to think of them as having limitations. There’s no such thing.”

The organization receives the bulk of their clients, about 900 individuals annually, from Special Needs Adult Program Services Organization (SNAPSO), Brampton Caledon Community Living (BCCL) and VITA Community Living.

They currently provide five sessions a week, and planning to bring it up to six by September. They however, cannot take in anymore clients because of insufficient funds.

“We can’t take in anymore, because we don’t have the funding,” said Balinov. “That’s five sessions a week. By September it’s going to be six, and we’re hoping to have the funds to carry the load of six by then.”

During a session, the students spread out in a room in their individual stations playing drums, piano, precessions, side keyboards and a microphone singing to some songs from a recording. They then, rotate across the stations to have a chance at different instruments.

“Tisho is a master at this,” said Balinov. “He knows how to get them to follow a beat and certain rhythm. He has a voice that carries over everybody else, so everybody tends to listen to him.”

Balinov said the clients don’t want to leave when the session is over. She said they tend to hover around the door.

Howard Phee, chair on the board of directors, said it cost about $40,000 to $50,000 annually to run the programs.

“We have to raise all of our own money,” said Phee. “We don’t get any government funding, that’s budgeted to support the loads we already have now. When new groups wish to come and bring their clients, we have to raise more money before we are able to take them.”

The organization runs a number of fundraising events throughout the year, such as Beer for a Year raffle, among many other initatives.

“We have a lot of service clubs donate,” said Phee. “We have individual corporate donations and we have individual donations, as well.”

While the organization wants to offer more, they note none of the programs will change. They just now able to provide a tax receipts to individuals and corporate donors.

Balinov said they were shocked that some of their clients that came through their doors, who were deaf or blind, make a lasting impression. 

“I’ve seen one individual completely get up from his wheelchair,” said Balinov. “He could not stand up straight and really hunched over but he got up from his wheelchair and wanted someone to hold his hand so he could dance.

She said there were some, who were non-verbal, actually hum and others who stuttered before, would be able to sing without that impediment.

“At this point in time, since we know have our charitable status and we’re a registered charity, we have more credibility,” said Balinov. “We would like to reach out to the community, to any individuals and corporations that will help with donations, no matter how small, to help us maintain this room.

“Give them the opportunity and they will show you what they can do.”

The Meaghan Zaremba Music Room launched in 2013. Meaghan suffered severe brain damage after a serious car accident at the age of five. Doctors told her mother, Danielle, that she should be taken off life support. They said Meaghan would never be able to take care of herself.

Her mother refused to give up on her daughter.

Meaghan is alive and well today and has grown into an inspiration for those around her. The room was developed from her passion of music.

For more information call (905)-951-7416 or email meaghansroom@gmail.com



         

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