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Jam for Keshequa fundraiser

Rochester, N.Y. - Musicians of all ages performed at Lovin' Cup on Sunday to benefit students at Keshequa Central School District.

Justin Gurnsey with the Greener Grass Band started the event called Jam for Keshequa after he learned about 50 of their instruments were stolen.

The Keshequa students' music teacher, Danielle Conner-Willowglade, has been accused of stealing them and selling them to pawn shops for drug money.

Some of her students said they lost their passion for music after the whole ordeal.

"Music has been so great to me from school band to high school band to my favorite rock and roll bands-it's everything," said Gurnsey. "I owe it to music to make sure kids don't go eh music."

"I decided to play to help the Keshequa school get their instruments because I'm in band too so I know what it would feel like to get your instruments taken," said drummer Garrett Henry, 12.

Conner-Willowglade was arrested three times in March for alleged thefts, and once back in October for drugs.

Police said she admitted to pawning instruments for heroin, and told them she has a $200-a-day addiction.

A fellow Keshequa teacher, Amy Therrien-Borgus, was at the benefit and said she feels "sad."

She said, "As a professional who worked with Danielle, I feel really badly that I didn't know that things were so bad for her."

Her two children had Conner-Willowglade as a teacher and were impacted by her alleged addiction.

Despite the outcome, Therrien-Borgus said she is past being angry, and instead praying for the music teacher to get the help she needs.

She also said about the benefit, "It speaks volumes to the kindness and generosity of people and how much music means to everyone."

Jam for Keshequa raised more than $1,000. There were also three trombone donations.

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Washington Times