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Palatine Park District arts scholarship recipient of store fundraiser

As a way to promote the arts, a Deer Park store chose a Palatine Park District scholarship program to benefit from an annual fundraiser.

Brighton Collectibles, located in the Deer Park Shopping Center at 20530 N. Rand Road, will sell an “Americana Bracelet,” with some of the proceeds going to Susannah’s Gift – a scholarship program for Palatine Park District residents. Scholarship recipients receive class fee waivers for dance, music, theater or other art programs.

The bracelet sale is part of a national campaign for all Brighton Collectible stores, and started because the owners wanted to give back to the community, said Amy Kaplan, manager at the Deer Park store.

“The nice trickle down effect is every individual store gets to choose in our community who we will support,” she said.

Kaplan said she chose the park district’s scholarship program, as well as the Illinois Children’s Dance Theatre in Deer Park, to receive proceeds from bracelet sales. The $48 bracelet will be on sale through July, with half of the purchase price going toward the community programs, she said.

“We’re just very grateful to Brighton that they chose us,” said Carol Lange, cultural arts coordinator for the Palatine Park District.

The Susannah’s Gift scholarship is named after Susannah Kist a 16-year veteran of the park district who taught theater, music and crafts. After she died of breast cancer in 2009, the park district decided to honor her memory with a scholarship to help children gain access to cultural arts, Lange said.

In recent years, Lange said she’s seen a decrease in program participation and an increase in scholarship applications, likely due to tough economic times. That’s unfortunately, she said, especially because many schools have to cut back on such programs for budgetary reasons.

“I think it’s very important for children to express themselves through the arts,” Lange said. “It’s a healthier way than some of the ways they choose sometimes.”

Also as part of Brighton Collectibles fundraising campaign, the park district and dance school will visit the store throughout June and July for performances, art demonstrations and other activities, Kaplan said.

“Customers can see firsthand who they’re helping,” she said.

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