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German American Social Club makes donation to Southwest Florida Symphony

By Staff | May 26, 2022

Mike Bortz, left, treasurer and trumpet player with the German American Social Club of Cape Coral with current Executive Director of the Southwest Florida Symphony Amy Ginsburg, and retired Executive Director of the Southwest Florida Symphony Ernie Toplis, right. PHOTO PROVIDED

Some Lee County 5th graders will have the opportunity to attend a Southwest Florida Symphony performance in the coming school year, thanks to the unexpected generosity of a fellow local music group and nonprofit organization.

The Southwest Florida Symphony, Lee County’s only professional orchestra and one of the oldest in the state of Florida, was awarded a $500 gift from the German American Social Club of Cape Coral to support the symphony’s education initiatives. Educational programming includes Youth Orchestra Ensembles, The Young People’s Concert, Discovery Club, Student Rush, Music for Life and Majors for Minors. The foundation’s gift will help cover some of the cost of delivering a Young People’s Concert.

The Young People’s Concert is a field trip for 5th graders to attend a full symphonic performance, uniquely designed for young people. This concert will serve approximately 1,000 youths in Southwest Florida. The program treats the students to the thrilling sounds of the Southwest Florida Symphony. The symphony provides this performance to students, teachers and chaperones admission free, so gifts like this make the experience possible.

“Our group has been impressed with the work of the Southwest Florida Symphony and it is our hope that our partnership will significantly boost the symphony’s programs which support the underserved communities of Southwest Florida,” said Mike Bortz, treasurer and trumpet player with the German American Social Club.

“As musicians ourselves,” explained Bortz, “we realize the costs involved with instruments, instrument upkeep and learning materials.”

The music-loving German American Social Club is also home to and sponsor of The Hafenkapelle Band, a typically costumed German band and also a community band, and having been proclaimed by locals as the “Official Band” of the city of Cape Coral.

As a 501(c)(4), The Hafenkapelle works to promote the enjoyment of music, stimulate interest in German and American music, and work with the youth of local communities in the music of Germany. The band established a fund in order to provide music education for those who, without financial help, would never have the opportunity to experience the joys of live music.

As a non-revenue generating event, the Southwest Florida Symphony relies heavily on the support and generosity of private donors and additional grant funds. The Southwest Florida Symphony will continue to seek funding from various sources to ensure the continuation of programs that benefit thousands of Lee County school students. To make donations to the Southwest Florida Symphony’s Education Fund, visit SWFLSO.ORG or call 239-418-1500 weekdays. The Southwest Florida Symphony is a not-for-profit organization.

Visiting most schools remains dependent on whether the Lee County School District will permit outside organizations on campus this year. As pandemic-related conditions permit, the Southwest Florida Symphony will find creative, yet safe ways to provide all students with access to the highest caliber of music education opportunities.

For additional information about the Southwest Florida Symphony, visit SWFLSO.ORG or follow the Southwest Florida Symphony on social media: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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