Young Bainbridge musician raises funds for Nepal

What’s a fourth-grader to do with talent, time and a recital coming soon? Take to the sidewalks to play violin for a good cause, of course.

Axel Edwards

What’s a fourth-grader to do with talent, time and a recital coming soon?

Take to the sidewalks to play violin for a good cause, of course.

On a beautiful and busy Saturday in downtown Winslow, Axel Edwards, 9, stood in front of the former hardware store and played his violin.

The sign sitting next to his open violin case read, “Help Nepal.”

For an hour on May 2, the Wilkes Elementary student practiced all the songs he needed to know for an upcoming performance. His mother, Christine Edwards, stood nearby and answered questions for strangers.

Yes, he’s practicing.

Yes, he’s doing it for a good cause.

No, this isn’t for ice cream money.

While he worked out the kinks for recital, he also brought in droves of people who donated $175 in cash. The following week, he was invited to play live at Spice Route, where he raised another $30 in donations.

Nepal, devastated by an earthquake in April, was struck by another large-magnitude quake again this week. The aftermath has been devastating for locals, wiping out their homes, livelihoods and families.

When asked why he felt it was important to help, Axel sat quiet for a moment.

“If I’m in Nepal and I’m living in a tarp, what really I would probably wish for is the situation to be different,” he said. “If I can make that happen, that would be great, right? So I feel pretty accomplished, and I felt like I did my job raising that money for Nepal.”

Axel practices the Suzuki violin method, and his teacher, Katherine Davies, prompted her students to prep for the upcoming show with much practice.

After the news of the earthquake, she gave them another challenge: Ask for pledges for a flat amount or certain rate per minute in exchange to practice.

The funds will go to the Tamangs, a local Nepalese family of five who lost their home in the disaster.

Through various connections, Davies learned the family is well-known to Karla Piecuch, Bainbridge Island Montessori Country School Associate Head. During a trip to the Langtang region in the early ’90s, Piecuch met Phurpu Tsering Tamang. Since then, she’s called him “family” and has connected with Tamang, his wife and three children.

In a separate fund-raiser, within 12 days, Piecuch generated nearly $9,000 donations through a GoFundMe page to help the family. All the music students who participated in raising money will bring in checks to be sent to Piecuch for the GoFundMe campaign.

With the help of the community — and other music students like Axel – the hope is to ensure the family doesn’t live under a tarp much longer. Even if it means doing something a little out of the ordinary to raise awareness and donations.

“He’s always game for performing,” Edwards said. “I  think he was very happy about the opportunity to do something for people who are in trouble. He really thought it was terrific, and I think we were shocked by the fact that people are quite generous. Most people were throwing in a $1 and some were going to an ATM machine. It was insane.”

One moment that especially resonated with Axel and his mother was a visit paid to them by a woman and her daughter who had just hopped off the ferry.

The daughter was about the same age as Axel and had been adopted from Nepal. The village she was from had been destroyed in the earthquake, Edwards was told.

“The connection was pretty immediate. She was about his age. I think it made a difference,” Edwards said. “It was quite amazing. I thought, ‘Goodness gracious, what are the chances of that?’”

 

More in News

Rees is standout at Spokane Falls

Cole Rees of Bainbridge Island has been honored for academic excellence Spokane… Continue reading

BARN hosts support group for Alzheimer’s caregivers

Caring for someone with memory loss? Do you need information and support?… Continue reading

People who want to live in State of Liberty rally at Capitol | 2019 Legislative Session

OLYMPIA - Representative Matt Shea, R-Spokane, was greeted by a few dozen… Continue reading

Utility work on Highway 305 may delay traffic

The Washington State Department of Transportation is warning travelers who use Highway… Continue reading

Lawmakers propose new watercraft restrictions to save southern resident orcas | 2019 Legislative Session

OLYMPIA – Lawmakers, whale watchers and environmentalists reached a rare consensus at… Continue reading

SNOW AND TELL: Bainbridge buried in biggest snow in a generation

There’s snow easy way to say it. Back-to-back snowstorms left Bainbridge Island… Continue reading

Bainbridge blotter | Writing on the wall

Selected reports from the Bainbridge Island Police Department blotter. TUESDAY, JAN. 29… Continue reading

Attorney General Ferguson reviewing border wall ‘emergency’

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson vowed to legally challenge President Trump’s… Continue reading

Senator Murray: Border emergency is ‘based on lies and a manufactured crisis’

U.S. Senator Patty Murray blasted President Trump’s plan to declare a national… Continue reading

Most Read