Volunteers, Grief and Bereavement
January 22, 2019

8th Annual Music-Thon Proceeds Send Children to VITAS Bereavement Camp

A group of students play guitar, saxophones, drums and other instruments on stage at the mall

Above: One of the many groups of students that performed at the VITAS Music-Thon in 2018.

It was more than sweet, sweet music that serenaded shoppers at Palm Beach Gardens Mall during the prime shopping season.

It was another successful year of musically talented South Florida children donating their time to help other South Florida children who are struggling with grief.

At the eighth annual VITAS Music-Thon in December, about 150 local music students ages 5–17 and Thomas Dalton, LMHC, MT-BC, music therapist for VITAS in Broward County, put their good hearts and musical talents to work for a good cause, raising over $10,000! 

The 12-hour Music-Thon featured young guitarists, violinists, brass and woodwinds instrumental musicians, singers and drummers who performed for mall shoppers. Their talents raised funds on behalf of the VITAS Community Connection (the charitable arms of VITAS Healthcare) to send 30–35 children to Camp VITAS in March, an overnight bereavement camp for children who have lost a loved one.

“Nothing is better than children helping children,” according to Dalton. “We are thrilled at the amount of donations we receive each year. But given the power of music, such generosity is hardly surprising.”

The local students of music teachers in Palm Beach and the Treasure Coast raised money through pledges and sponsors prior to the event. Additionally, donations were welcomed throughout the public event.

Thanks to the annual Music-Thon and Camp VITAS, “grieving children have a safe environment where they can find support and learn new ways to cope with grief,” says Martha Musino, general manager of VITAS in Broward County.

A group of guitarists performs

Above: A group of guitarists performs at the eighth annual VITAS Music-Thon at Palm Beach Gardens Mall.

The team poses in front of the stage, with student musicians preparing behind them

Above, from left: VITAS music therapy intern Rebecca Rocuant and music therapist Tom Dalton with teachers MaryAnn Rothschild and Joseph Labonte from Cambridge School of Music.

A group of young people on stage at the mall