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Published: 5/14/2008

Northview singers voice support of Sylvania family through concert

BY ANGIE SCHMITT
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Choral groups from Sylvania's Northview High School are banding together to help a local family in need.

The school's symphonic choir, women's chorus, Med-Tech quartet, and award-winning a capella choir are hosting a benefit concert for the Apgar family of Sylvania at 7 p.m. tomorrow in the Little Theater at Northview.

Holly and Jason Apgar, both '95 Southview graduates, have watched their financial picture grow increasingly strained following their two young children's diagnoses with life-threatening illnesses.

Mrs. Apgar was three months pregnant with her second child when she learned her 3-year-old daughter, Haley, had kidney cancer.

She and her husband, a teacher at Anthony Wayne High School, were making two house payments at the time. But Mrs. Apgar took a leave of absence from her job as a pharmaceutical sales representative to care for Haley as she underwent surgery and chemotherapy.

Then, baby Tristin was born with a potentially fatal congenital heart disorder called tetralogy of Fallot. As a result, Mrs. Apgar hasn't been able to return to work and money has been tight.

When students at Northview's Med-Tech program heard of the family's situation they took up the Apgar family as their concert cause.

"We have service incorporated into the curriculum," said Dawn Soldner, a teacher with Med-Tech, a program that helps students prepare for medical careers. "Part of our curriculum is teaching them what's going to happen in the real world."

The concert is the latest in a series of displays of community support that are helping the family cope, Mrs. Apgar said.

Anthony Wayne High School has made the family's plight their collective call to action.

The school held a spaghetti dinner to benefit the family in April. Turn-out was so strong, Mrs. Apgar said, the group ran out of food.

Students in the district have also been selling T-shirts for the family. "It's been overwhelming," Mrs. Apgar said.

Meanwhile, things seem to be turning around for the Apgar children.

Tristin underwent a successful second open-heart surgery last week. His first operation was at just three weeks old. "Even though he was one of the more challenging cases, his outcome was good," Mrs. Apgar said.

Haley, now 4, has been cancer-free for one year. She will be performing at the concert with some members of her dance group. "She's all excited because her hair is growing back," Mrs. Apgar said.

Contact Angie Schmitt at:

aschmitt@theblade.com

or 419-724-6104.



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