Answer to Wednesday's Challenge sponsored by Wiggy Wash.

The Wallace family donated funds to the Nebo Youth Philharmonic program through the Nebo Education Foundation in remembrance of Madison Wallace.

This is part of Madison Wallace’s story told by her mother, Lara, at the Nebo Youth Philharmonic Concert:

“I am honored to be invited to share Madison's story with you this evening. This is a photo of my beautiful daughter Madison when she was 16 years old. She loved music and playing the French horn. Madison participated and enjoyed playing in the Pride of Vermillion marching and symphonic band, it was a small town and the music program was weak and there was no orchestra in town.

“Madison was really looking for a different experience, so she started up lessons at the University of South Dakota with Professor Gary Reeves, and soon after tried out for the South Dakota Youth Symphony. She got in. But I had two kids participating and the tuition was over $700, which was very expensive for us at the time. My husband was unemployed and a full-time graduate student.

“The director told me that there was a scholarship fund available for a few people made possible by generous donors. We were so very grateful for that. Each Saturday morning we would travel over an hour to go to symphony practice. Practices were almost three hours long. That made for a very long day after the two hours of traveling. I'd complain, but there were some kids traveling over three hours, so I felt lucky.

“Madison loved the symphony so much! She loved her conductor, she loved the music, and she learned so much. She was really looking forward to moving to a closer location where she could be part of a local symphony this season.

“But, in March, eight months ago, our oldest daughter, Madison, gave her life when she jumped in the dangerous frozen Sioux River after Garrett, our six year old who had fallen under 10 feet of foam, to help save her brother from drowning. Garrett survived; Madison did not.

“Those who truly know Madison are not surprised by the sacrifice she made but are deeply saddened by it just the same. Madison Wallace is a great example of one who puts others first. She lived her life on behalf of others, and she died doing the same.

“At her funeral her classmates folded 1000 gorgeous white hanging origami cranes with a sign that read, ‘These are 1000 paper cranes that represent all of the prayers and love that went into making them. Madison taught us how.’ Part of that Japanese legend of the 1,000 cranes is that Madison will have her wish.

“I've been thinking of Madison and her birthday on December 13. It is the worst day to have a birthday because there is always a Christmas party or concert going on, and that day was always overlooked and never celebrated properly.  I wanted to organize something that would ensure her birthday would always be celebrated and that she could have her wish. We are giving these funds to the Nebo Youth Philharmonic program through the Nebo Education Foundation in remembrance of Madison Wallace and to help dedicated youth who want to participate in the youth symphony.”

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