Day-Long MusicThon at Palm Beach Mall Raises $9,000 for Local VITAS Healthcare Family Bereavement Camp

December 30, 2019

The group smiles in front of the stage

VITAS Music Therapist Tom Dalton with teachers Joseph LaBonte and MaryAnn Rothschild from Cambridge School of Music.

More than 150 musicians, music students and their teachers from Broward, Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie counties raised over $9,000 on Saturday, December 21, at a day-long MusicThon at a Palm Beach shopping mall so that South Florida children and families can attend a 2020 family bereavement camp offered through VITAS® Healthcare.

The 9th Annual MusicThon, spearheaded by Thomas Dalton, a VITAS Healthcare music therapist in Broward County since 2009, included performances from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. at The Gardens Mall by children ages 5-17 on guitar, violin, flute and voice.

VITAS, the nation’s leading provider of end-of-life care, serves hospice patients and their families in Broward and Palm Beach counties and the Treasure Coast counties of Martin, St. Lucie and Okeechobee.

Resources: Coping with Grief

The musicians raised funds by securing pledges from family members and friends, and donations were accepted at the mall. MusicThon donations support VITAS Community Connection (VCC), a 501(c)3 charitable organization that helps local VITAS hospice patients in need, and provides grants to community partners. VCC donations, in turn, make it possible for grieving children and their families to attend Camp VITAS, a bereavement camp held each spring.

Entering its eighth year, Camp VITAS provides a fun, interactive and safe place for families and children to define and express their grief and to hear from others that “all of their ways of grieving differently are OK,” according to Dalton.

Six guitarists, some with electric guitars and other with acoustic guitars

Five guitarists performed with LaBonte.

A girl in a white dress holds a microphone on stage

Rothschild also accompanied students, in this case, a young singer.

Three VITAS team members at a table with brochures behind the audience

Dalton and other VITAS team members had information about grief support services.

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