More Lessons in Generosity

Blog / November 2, 2017

More Lessons in Generosity

by Lori Unerkoefler


The curtain falls, the show is over but the joy continues!  The SOMS choir led by Mr. Jake Ezzo took a break from choir class to count the money they raised and share their experience.

On Friday October 20, Mr Ezzo and his students held a fundraising concert called “SOMA Sings!) to benefit the Keller Williams Red Relief the proceeds of which go directly to victims of the recent hurricanes and wildfires.   The group chose this particular charity as a way of thanking Vanessa Pollock of Keller Williams for her generosity to the SOMA music program.   The concert was a huge success with hundreds of community members attending to see the SOMS Choir, Maplewood Middle Choir, soloists and local band “Moody Ring” perform.

Recently, Vanessa stopped by Mr. Ezzo’s classroom to say thank you to the students. “You guys make me so proud; you have done so much for our neighbors in Texas, Puerto Rico and California. You have no idea how much it means. Some of them lost everything they own. Everything. The money you raised has given them comfort.”

The students raised $1,535 worth of “comfort”,  “actually doing what we love, to make a difference” explained Cephia. “We were able to help real people build back their lives,” added Cameron. 

The 7th and 8th graders gave up some of their lunch period to tell Vanessa what they learned from the experience. Silas noted “We gave support to people beyond the boundaries of our community”.  Charlotte and Kai agreed, “We realized that little things can make a big difference”.   To which Katie added “Even though we are middle-schoolers, teenagers, we had a big impact”. Haley noticed how different the concert was because, “we came together – it wasn’t just SOMS, we included Maplewood and Jack from West Orange”. 

Kate realized “There’s a lot of talent in this community”.   “When we band together we can do a lot,” added Maya. Jared echoed these sentiments, “It was a community wide effort.” Ciara and Ashley noticed how different this concert was than other concerts. “This one had a purpose, it was less about what [music] we learned. It was about what we can do for others.”

Ashley believes “We had a bigger impact than we can understand.”  Juliette explained the breadth of the impact, “It went from our town to Texas and California.”  And perhaps Edith summed it best, “We felt the love and support of our community, not every town would think of this.”

As the students marched off to its next class, Vanessa Pollock held back the tears. “One of the reasons my team works so hard to provide excellent real estate service is so that we can give back to this community.  Seeing that our generosity inspired this generosity from these students means everything to me.”  Mr. Ezzo is already looking forward to next year’s event. 

If you would like more information about the disaster fund, please visit or if you want to get involved, please reach out to Vanessa Pollock at Keller Williams Midtown Direct Realty at 917-723-4006

#CareServeGive #realestateDifferent #CommunityFocused #GenerosityDriven   



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