Boy arranges fund-raiser

Repository / Julie Vennitti

INSPIRED. Violinist William Shaub, 11, arranged a benefit concert at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Canton to raise money for the removal of land mines.

By ABBY SLUTSKY Repository staff writer

William Shaub had a goal.He wanted to help clear land mines and buy prosthetic limbs for children.

A violinist, William decided to put on a benefit concert.

He asked fellow musicians to join him, arranged for a place to hold the concert, designed and ordered programs, invited an audience, contacted the Adopt-A-Minefield campaign for a video describing the goals of the campaign, wrote a speech, hosted the event and made $408.06 during the evening.

He’s 11.

After watching Heather Mills-McCartney talk to Larry King about land-mine removal on CNN, William was inspired.

“I get inspired a lot,” he said.

The concert was held Nov. 6 at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Canton.

Nov. 6 was the date of the Adopt-A-Minefield campaign’s annual Night of a Thousand Dinners, an international event aimed at raising awareness and money for the removal of land mines.

Rather than hosting a dinner, William decided to have the concert.

“I kind of feel that I have a talent and that I should use it,” he said.

William recruited some of his friends to help him raise the money.

Natalie Spehar, a 17-year-old Hoover High School student, played the cello at the concert.

“I thought of my friend, Natalie, because we played a wedding together,” William said. “It was her idea to get a pianist.”

Kristen Scott, 16, played the piano at the concert, and her sister, Caitlin, 12, played the clarinet.

All of the musicians except Natalie are home-schooled.

William also brought in his friend, Daniel Burnett, 13, to play the piano at the concert.

Daniel is in the home-school band with Kristen and Caitlin Scott.

“The more I worked on it, the more it grew,” William said.

The five musicians practiced together several times before the concert and, William said, had a lot of support from the pastor at the church.

“It was so nice of him to open his church to us,” William said.

The Rev. Robert Sander, the pastor at the church, said he was glad to help.

“I really like it when young people get involved with issues bigger than they normally do,” Sander said. “William spoke very distinctly and passionately about land mines and helping children.

“If William wants to do another concert, we will be more than willing to support him in it,” he said.

William, who lives in Jackson Township with his parents, Bill and Debbie Shaub, and his sister, Madeline, 4, has been playing the violin since he was 3. He is home-schooled due to a family illness.

William is a member of the Canton Youth Orchestra and the Cleveland Institute of Music’s Youth String Camarata.

Marcia Ferritto, a co-conductor of the Camarata, said she was impressed by William’s talent.

“He’s one of the youngest members of the orchestra,” Ferritto said. “William is very advanced for his age.”

With the money he raised, William said, 7.68 square meters of land can be cleared of land mines and seven children can be given new limbs.

“There’s nothing else to do if you can’t help people,” he said.

You can reach Repository writer Abby Slutsky at (330) 580-8316 or e-mail:

Repository / Julie Vennitti

INSPIRED. Violinist William Shaub, 11, arranged a benefit concert at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Canton to raise money for the removal of land mines.

Repository / Julie Vennitti

FOR A GOOD CAUSE. William Shaub, 11, (right) assembled a group of musician friends (from left) Natalie Spehar, 17, Caitlin Scott, 12, Daniel Burnett, 13, and Kristen Scott, 16, to put on the concert.

The Adopt-A-Minefield campaign is run by the United Nations Association.

The goal of the campaign is to “engage individuals, community groups, and businesses in the United Nations effort to resolve the global land-mine crisis. The campaign helps save lives by raising funds for mine clearance and survivor assistance and by raising awareness about the land-mine problem.”

Source: the Adopt-A-Minefield Web site:

This page was created December 5, 2003
©2003 The Repository
Have a question and/or comment about this site?
E-mail the webmaster at: