Magic show raises money to help school’s annual fund

Barbara Hootman

The Swannanoa Valley Montessori School has teamed up with The Vanishing Wheelchair, Inc. to bring magic to the school’s annual fund drive on Feb. 20.

“Live Your Dreams Magic Show” is a two-hour fun event, beginning at 2 p.m. at the Carver Center Gymnasium, at 101 Carver Street in Black Mountain. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children. The public is encouraged to come and enjoy two hours of magical entertainment.

The Vanishing Wheelchair, Inc., is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit charity dedicated to helping people with disabilities find their personal passion and meaning through the arts. The company is made up of a diverse group of professional entertainers including magicians, jugglers, storytellers, and singers. The show guarantees a memorable and inspirational two hours for the entire family.

“We have a talented group of people,” T.J. Shimeld, president of The Vanishing Wheelchair said by e-mail. “They are living their dreams and are an inspiration to watch perform. It seems the desire that the Montessori teaching instills in the children to embrace life and always strive to reach their full potential has a special resonance with The Vanishing Wheelchair’s mission to aid people with disabilities discover and grow their God-given talents.

“ My son, Zachary, who is now 10, got his grounding in life from this school (Swannanoa Valley Montessori). The greatest lesson he learned was to always to be inquisitive. He is constantly asking why. He wants to learn more and not just accept things at face value. The Montessori children are placed in a unique loving position to truly look beyond this physical limitation of others and embrace the person they see before them.”

Magic has entertained children and adults for as long as anyone can remember. It is an escape for a while. Magic awes, woos, and puzzles the brain to the delight of children and adults.

Katie Hanning, director of the Swannanoa Valley Montessori School said that “Live Your Dreams Magic Show” is being presented by one of the school’s alumni parents, Shimeld, who knows the importance of the annual fund drive, and is giving his full support to it through the show.

“The magic show proceeds will go towards funding programming for Spanish classes and the school’s outdoor experiential programming,” Hanning said. “Shimeld stepped forward and offered a way to donate to our annual fund in a large way. The show also provides a great, family-oriented, community event. We love the collaborative aspect of this event that raises funds not only for our school but also for The Vanishing Wheelchair performers. The event promises to be highly entertaining for all ages.”

Diane Jackson, media coordinator for The Swannanoa Valley Montessori School, said the upcoming magic show will contribute to the school achieving its overall mission of providing an authentic Montessori education for a diverse and wide population of Black Mountain children, using certified Montessori educators and filling the classrooms with Montessori material and items of natural beauty.

“This has continued to be the mission of Swannanoa Valley Montessori School and it is one that requires many financial resources,” she said by e-mail. “During the last several years an even stronger desire to provide a larger amount of financial aid to families to increase diversity has put great strains on the school’s budget. The school gets no additional funding from any government agency or corporation, so the annual fund drive is not only necessary but the school’s only way to cover the cost of students’ education.”

For more information about the upcoming magic show, contact The Swannanoa Valley Montessori School at 669-8571.