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    Harmonikids Session For Developmentally Disabled At The Center For Discovery

    15 September, 2015

    On September 10, 2015 I provided a Hohner-sponsored Harmonikids session at the Center for Discovery for "developmentally-disabled" athletes, during the national non-profit World T.E.A.M. Sports’ Adventure Team Challenge at New York’s Frost Valley YMCA resort. The wonderful event provides the opportunity for individuals with formidable physical and mental challenges to participate in outdoor sports on land and water in the beautiful Catskill mountains, many for the first time.

    It was was created and directed by American Portfolios Chairman Lon Dolber and involved residents from the non-profit facility Center for Discovery in Harris, NY.  Of special interest, Lon is also a musician and the son of Hy Dolber, the famous harmonica player during the '40s and '50s who performed in renowned harmonica groups such as the Polka Dots, The Harmonicats, and Borah Minnevitch and his Harmonica Rascals. Lon invited me to provide Hohner-donated harmonicas and lessons to approximately 40 participants at the Center prior to the event as well as participate as a team leader during the Challenge. It was an inspirational success. A Harmonikids session was a perfect partnership for the event, with its shared objectives to provide the joy of enabling participants to accomplish an exciting activity together while providing self-esteem and confidence. In a favorite moment of mine following the session, one of the inspired participants enthusiastically expressed his pure delight in learning to play as he described it, "a real musical instrument" that he and his roommate at the center were “going to practice and provide a show for the other residents”. Please enjoy the attached photos, article link, and Lon Dolber's remarks describing the experience below.

    Gary Allegretto

    Harmonikids Founding Director


    “"I would like to thank Gary Allegreto and Hohner for being so giving of their time and harmonicas. It was truly an enriching experience during the opening ceremonies of World T.E.A.M. Sports’ Adventure T.E.A.M. Challenge this past September, bringing the gift of playing music into the lives of some very special athletes from The Center for Discovery, who participated in the event."

    Lon Dolber

    Vice Chairman of World T.E.A.M. Sports and President and CEO of American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc.


    Article on the event from www.worldteamsports.org: