The Manhattan Beach Rotary Club and Mira Costa’s Interact Club hosted a benefit concert on Dec. 9 in the small theater to honor the memory of Manhattan Beach Middle School special-education teacher Sandy Casey, who passed away during the Oct. 1 mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas.
The MBMS Madrigal Choir, classical guitarist Felix Kellaway and concert organizer Joel Ruben performed at the concert. The madrigal singers performed “Silent Night” and “Peace, Peace.” Kellaway, who is an English classical guitarist and has given concerts in 16 countries, performed eight songs, including “Alta Paz” and “Rondo Rodeo.” Ruben performed “Perhaps Love” and “Eli Eli.”
“The main goal of the concert was to remember and honor Sandy Casey, who was an outstanding teacher,” Ruben said. “We can’t do anything else in a situation like this besides remember and honor [Casey] and hope that it inspires other people.”
Kellaway, who is on a nine week concert tour of the United States, contacted the Manhattan Beach Rotary Club and other rotary clubs in Los Angeles as part of his collaboration with Rotary International to put on benefit concerts.
“We [wanted] to honor the memory of Sandy Casey, whose dedication and liveliness influenced her students and the community,” Interact Club co-president and junior Jamie Stickelmaier said.
The Manhattan Beach Rotary Club is part of Rotary International and is a service-based organization that partners with local organizations to support community projects and provide scholarships for students in the community. The Mira Costa Interact Club works alongside the Manhattan Beach Rotary Club to organize and attend fundraisers and events that help the community and select charities, Stickelmaier said.
Attendees purchased tickets for $20 and proceeds will provide a scholarship to a student at Mira Costa or El Camino College who is interested in pursuing a career in teaching special education. This is the first time the Rotary Club will give out a scholarship in memory of a person in a specific field, Ruben said.
“We want to [select someone] who will look back at this as being an important part of how they became a special-education teacher and who will live up to the high standards and quality that Sandy Casey embodied,” Ruben said.