Kennett High School to hold benefit concert

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On March 25th KHS will host the 5th Annual Jonathan Beech Memorial Concert, sponsored by IGN Direct 

By P.J. D’Annunzio, Staff Writer, UnionvilleTimes.com

KENNETT SQUARE — For a parent, the death of a child is hardship too distressing for words; nothing can be said or done to take away the anguish felt during such a terrible loss.

However, in one way, musician Donna Beech’s son, Jonathan—who died of brain cancer in 2007—continues to live on through his legacy: one of gratitude, music, and ultimately, hope.

Jonathan was diagnosed with the deadly illness as an 11-year-old student at Greenwood Elementary. He was a talented multi-instrumentalist and straight-A student who fought hard for four years, battling his cancer until, eventually, he succumbed to the disease as a freshman at Kennett High.

But before his death, Jonathan had one final wish to relay:

“While he was in hospice he told us he was really sad that he couldn’t thank people for all they did for him,” Donna Beech said. “I told him ‘we’ll do that for you…we’ll have a concert each year,’ and each year we’d raise funds for a different organization that helped us during his battle.”

Thus the Jonathan Beech Memorial Concert came into being; an event that over the years has raised over $34,000 for organizations such as the Compassionate Care hospice, the Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation, and the neural-oncology department of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

This year, the beneficiaries will be the A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children and Super Sibs, a group that works with the siblings of children diagnosed with cancer.

As with past years the event will be a choral concert with a vocal group from the Lower Brandywine Presbyterian Church and other community groups from various churches. Music programs from schools will also perform, including the Kennett High School Chorale and the Kennett Symphony’s Children’s Chorus with Donna Beech conducting from sections of Handel’s “Messiah” and Paul McCartney’s “Ecce Cor Meum.”

Solo performances will be given by Leon Spencer, Erin Coats, and Patty Mancuso.

Beech hopes that the spirit of the event will be conveyed to all those present and states that Jonathan’s wishes are representative of all juvenile cancer patients.

“All the kids that go through this awful cancer are like Jonathan—the kids that are on hospice, the kids that aren’t going to make it—they are all incredibly thankful for this life and they’re incredibly thankful for all the people that helped them. They know that everybody’s doing absolutely everything they can,” she said.

“We can learn from them all, that no matter what, you can live a life of gratitude”

The concert will be held on March 25 at 3 PM at the Kennett High School auditorium. For ticket information visit: http://www.jonathanbeechmemorialconcert.org/?page_id=11

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