December 4, 2018, Columbus, Georgia—The Youth Orchestra of Greater Columbus (YOGC) gratefully announces a $25,000 gift from the Whiddon Family to YOGC’s Lynn Whiddon Endowment Fund, held and managed by the Community Foundation of the Chattahoochee Valley. This gift has a matching component, and honors the recent passing of Lynn Whiddon, President Emeritus, a founder of the Youth Orchestra and a lifelong advocate for the arts. The community is invited to join the Whiddon family in supporting the endowment fund. YOGC was Lynn’s proudest achievement outside of her children, and this fund commemorates her legacy that reaches to the very roots of Columbus’ growth and success for 25 years.

Donations may be made via check to YOGC and mailed to P.O. Box 8612, Columbus, GA, 31908, or by credit/debit card at www.yogc.org/contributions. Non-cash donations can be sent to Morgan Stanley Account #4377-108105-030.

This year, income from the fund will support bringing in the local award-winning band Wolf & Clover to work with both YOGC orchestras for the Pops concert at St. Luke’s Ministry Center on Thursday, February 28, 2019. Wolf & Clover, which performs frequently around the region and released their self-titled debut album in February 2018, will work with all YOGC students on Irish playing technique and ornamentation. They will also perform with both groups at the concert in February.

“Given what we know about the role that arts education plays in developing problem-solving, creative thinkers, it’s a special honor for the Community Foundation to be able to steward the Lynn Whiddon Endowment Fund for the Youth Orchestra of Greater Columbus. Not only are we able to help honor Lynn Whiddon and her family, to whom we all owe so much for the artistic environment of our community, but we’re able to play a small part in helping the YOGC produce adults who will help improve our community for generations to come.” – Betsy Covington, Community Foundation of the Chattahoochee Valley President & CEO

 “Lynn was deeply moved when she was told several years ago that the Youth Orchestra of Greater Columbus was establishing The Lynn Whiddon Endowment Fund in her honor and in recognition of the role she played in founding the YOGC some 25 years ago.  With her death this past summer, our family felt that one of the most fitting ways we could continue her legacy was to build this fund that will benefit young people for generations to come as they participate in the YOGC.” – Rex Whiddon, Columbus State University Sr. Associate VP of Leadership Philanthropy and Strategic Initiatives

“Lynn holds a special place in everyone’s hearts at YOGC. We talk about her vision and how YOGC’s programs fulfill her wishes all the time. Her son Matt is on our board, and we think that it is important to keep that connection to our roots as we also look to the future. This fund is a beautiful illustration of that. The Lynn Whiddon Endowment Fund was started because of Lynn’s incredible legacy in Columbus, and endowments are designed to ensure financial stability for the organization into perpetuity.” – Stephanie Payne, YOGC Executive Director

Since 1993, the Youth Orchestra of Greater Columbus has been teaching the area’s most talented young musicians. Led by music director Jim Palmer, YOGC maintains the only symphonic orchestral opportunity in the region for string, brass, wind, and percussion musicians; a string orchestra for intermediate string players; five chamber groups; an orchestra festival provided at no cost to MCSD school orchestra programs; and a week-long summer string camp focused on alternative genres of music and playing styles. Rehearsals are held each Monday evening during the school season at the CSU Schwob School of Music.  For additional information e-mail info@yogc.org.