Rosendahl, Renowned Musician Help Raise Funds for Olympic Trip



Councilmember Bill Rosendahl wants an international audience to hear a group of student bellringers from Mark Twain Middle School at the 2012 Summer Olympics being held in London.

The Mark Twain bellringers were invited to perform on stage at multiple Olympic sites throughout the Greater London area.

Like any trip, this one comes with a hefty price tag: the school needs to raise close to $100,000 to send 20 students to the games. They’ve already raised $70,000 for this once-in-a-lifetime trip and still need to raise $30,000 to make this dream come true.

“These Venice-area students deserve a chance to share their wonderful talent with the world,” said Councilmember Bill Rosendahl. “The students have been working extremely hard to get to this point and just need a little financial boost.”

As it turns out, Rosendahl heard about the Mark Twain group around the same time renowned musician Johnny Irion approached him about wanting to donate money raised from the sale of his recently released single, “Riverside Rocker” — the story of the 340 ton rock that was hauled 105 miles to its new home at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Johnny Irion said he got the inspiration for the song when he was in Los Angeles watching news coverage on the $10 million LACMA rock.

“I couldn’t believe somebody paid $10 million for a rock,” said Irion. “There are people that don’t have health insurance, there are kids without books… certainly if a museum can raise $10 million for a rock, then I can do something as an artist and help raise some money to support a group of young creative minds.”

When Rosendahl heard of this, the Connector-In-Chief brought together Irion and Dr. Rex Patton, principal of Mark Twain Middle School. The result of this meeting is The Riverside Rocker, A Bellringer Benefit — an online campaign where people are invited to listen or download Irion’s song in exchange for a donation to the Mark Twain bellringers.

“This is a special moment for Angelenos to offer a group of bellringers from a Title I school to represent the City of Angels on an international stage,” said Patton. “The arts give us our humanity and this is very important in the inner city. What better way to show success at Mark Twain than through art and urban education — this is what it’s about!”

Mark Twain is a World Languages and Arts magnate, as well as a Title I school located within the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Irion originates from a family of artists – his uncle, acclaimed author Thom Steinbeck, was part of the inspiration behind “Riverside Rocker.” Irion released several critically acclaimed albums under his own name and alongside his wife Sarah Lee Guthrie, the granddaughter of the late Woody Guthrie. Their most recent recording, Bright Examples, received national press attention with American Public Media’s “American Routes,” Wall Street Journal, and Paste Magazine. The duo has performed with Wilco, Jackson Browne, and Arlo Guthrie.

For more information on how to help, click here.



Those who prefer to donate by check directly to the school:

Mark Twain Middle School

Bellringer Benefit

2224 Walgrove Ave

Los Angeles, CA 90066

Attn: Dr Rex Patton, Principal

5 thoughts on “Rosendahl, Renowned Musician Help Raise Funds for Olympic Trip

  1. Pingback: VIDEO Venice-area Students Raise Money for Olympic Trip « The Ones

  2. Pingback: Rosendahl Honors Olympic Bound Student Bell Ringers in Venice « The Ones

  3. Pingback: Mark Twain Bell Ringers Perform at Two Olympic Venues « The Ones

  4. Pingback: Mark Twain Bell Ringers Featured on NBC LA « The Ones

  5. Pingback: Rosendahl, City Council Proclaim Mark Twain Bell Ringer Day in LA « The Ones

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