Councilmember Bill Rosendahl and his council colleagues officially proclaimed Mark Twain Bell Ringer Day in Los Angeles in recognition of the group of student musicians from Mark Twain Middle School who served as ambassadors at the London Olympics.
The recognition at City Hall on Wednesday follows several weeks of fundraising that ended with the Title I students from Venice taking a once in a lifetime trip to the Olympic games.
“Their discipline, focus and achievement make these ringers an inspiration to all of Los Angeles,” said Rosendahl. “I am so proud of these kids.”
Earlier this year, the students were invited to perform at multiple venues at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. The students performed at Olympic Park, Southwark Park, and Hyde Park, to name a few.
“It’s not everyday that a teenager has the chance to go to London,” said Elizabeth Goldhaber. “This just goes to show that public schools can take you far.”
The school needed to raise more than $100,000 for the trip and accomplished this goal through a donation drive spearheaded by Rosendahl and recording artist Johnny Irion. The two helped the school create an online campaign to raise funds for the trip.
“Hard work pays off,” said Ron Theile, the music director at Mark Twain who spoke during the proclamation ceremony at City Hall. “This is the best day of my life.”
The school’s principal credited Rosendahl for his role in making the student’s Olympic dreams turn into a reality.
“I know these bell ringers will spend their entire lives giving back to the communities of Los Angeles because Councilmember Rosendahl modeled for them what public service means,” said Dr. Rex Patton.
Following the presentation on Wednesday morning, the students took a tour of City Hall and then used the opportunity to enjoy the newly renovated South Lawn in City Hall Park. The group performed the song Amazing Grace and dedicated it to Rosendahl, who is currently undergoing treatment for cancer.