Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


March 21, 2013

Telethon, community raises $150,000 for youth center


They were joined by 25-year-old Paul Spano on drums and 23-year-old Alura Mireault on vocals.

Ayoung soloist, 12-year-old Kevin Choi, performed Adele’s “Skyfall” on piano, and he followed it with Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out Of Heaven” on guitar.

His father was his inspiration for performing live, but “I want people to have this youth center,” he said after his performance.

Businesses also got in on the fun. Whether it was by donating items and packages for the telethon’s bidding contests or providing cash through massive, facsimiles of checks on stage, the town’s companies were represented at the telethon.

Orange Leaf, on Park Street, presented a check for $3,500 during the event, presented as a thank you to Andover youth for their patronage, according to store general manager Kurtis Tanguay.

“These kids are always in our store. We saw an opportunity to give back to the kids,” he said.

The recently opened Century Bank on Essex Street made a $10,000 donation on the first night of the event.

Salon Forza, which is celebrating its one-year anniversary in town, brought a $900 package to the bidding floor, which included an $800 salon treatment for the winning bidder and five friends and a $100 gift certificate to Andolini’s Italian Restaurant on Essex Street.

“The first time I saw the community come together was the voting for the youth center,” said Jennifer Traverso, Salon Forza owner. “When you have something you can support, it will grow. I wish I had done something so empowering when I was a child.”

Andover schools staff also got in on the fun. As the second night went on, a trio of Andover coaches, including football Coach E J Perry, agreed to shave their heads if donations reached a certain level, Perry said.

With $150,000 tallied up at the end, Perry’s head was shaved by a couple of his players.

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