Last fall, Rush Hour was very pleased to invite Megan Balderston to join its staff as Executive Director. Her talents and vision beautifully complement Rush Hour’s mission to bring great music to busy lives throughout the summer. I thought you would enjoy hearing from her today.
– Deborah Sobol

For this week’s classical dance music of the tango, I thought it would be appropriate to write about the Arthur Murray & his wifedance of philanthropy. My parents tell stories about learning to dance at the Arthur Murray Studios in their respective home towns. It was a part of their growing up experience; the language of the culture at that time stated that you needed to at least learn the basics of formal dance. (My dad still regrets that he was not a more apt pupil!)

Most people of my generation and younger were raised with a volunteer ethic, but not necessarily a philanthropic one. Because up to 25 percent of our audience each week is under the age of 40, we were intrigued by the idea of turning these attendees and “doers” into givers.

Under-40 at Rush HourThe Irving Harris Foundation jumped at this idea, and gave Rush Hour a challenge: the Foundation will match, dollar for dollar, all gifts from those under 40, up to $5,000. I jumped at this opportunity to support Rush Hour, and I hope you will consider it as well. I wish I’d had the opportunity 15 years ago to support my favorite causes in a meaningful way by forgoing a cab ride or the cost of a couple of trips to Starbucks. For this challenge, the act of support is more important than the level of support and each gift is effectively doubled!

Ballroom dancing the night awayThe art of giving, like ballroom dance, is not something we often consider until we are older. As a generation, we know all about giving our time to organizations. Join me in adding new dance steps to repertoire by adding support to your wonderful actions. I assure you, there is no more appreciative audience than Rush Hour.

-Megan Balderston

P.S. When you contribute to this challenge, please indicate that you are doing so. We have a short form that indicates that you are participating in the challenge available inside the donor envelope in your program.

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