Two volunteers in the La Crosse community will get to be a conductor for the night at the upcoming La Crosse Symphony Orchestra concert.
It is part of the annual ‘Conductor Wannabe’ contest. Six community members each chose a charity. They spent seven weeks raising money to be split equally between that charity and the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra.
"It really just connects us with the community on a much deeper level," said Tracy Gaskins, Executive Director of the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra. "We become part of their organizations. It’s really amazing."
This year’s contestants raised more than $49,000.
Roz Schnick received first place by raising $19,000. She raised funds for the Hospice Program offered through the Gundersen Medical Foundation.
"It meant so much to me when I lost my soulmate to have hospice help me, and I feel strongly that this money will help go forward so that other people who need these services will get them," she said.
Chuck Berendes got second place raising nearly $8,000. His benefiting charity is shelter development.
Other funds were donated as follows:
- Roz Schnick, $9,500 for the Hospice Program through Gundersen Medical Foundation
- Chuck Berendes, $3,924.50 to Shelter Development
- Scott Mihalovic, $3,721.00 to the La Crosse Public Education Foundation
- Amy Stodola, $3,116.00 to HorseSense for Special Riders
- Nick Ragner, $2,519.50 to The Salvation Army
- Adam Weissenberger, $913.75 to Trane Park Project & $913.75 to Freedom Honor Flight
Both Schnick and Berendes will get to conduct the full symphony orchestra at the concert on Saturday, June 9. That concert starts at 7:30 p.m. at Viterbo University. Tickets can be purchased by phone at (608) 783-2121 or at the symphony office located at 201 Main Street, Suite 230, La Crosse.