Margaret Dimmett, 14, of Zionsville, Indiana, an eighth-grader at Zionsville Middle School, established a charity with her sister that has raised more than $13,000 over the past three years to buy instruments, sheet music and other music equipment for schools and music programs across Indiana, and to promote the importance of music education. Meg and her sister, Kate, both began playing the violin at age 3, and since then music has played a big role in their lives. When their parents began shopping for a new violin for Kate, the girls realized how expensive instruments are, and how many young people would not be able to afford to play music. There are so many benefits to learning music at a young age, said Meg. “We wanted to provide as many students as possible with the chance to be exposed to music in their schools or through other programs.”
Meg and her sister asked local businesses for support and for opportunities to perform for donations on their premises. The girls were soon playing at ice cream shops, furniture stores, farmers’ markets and sporting events, often joined by classmates and community members. They also launched an annual fall letter writing campaign to attract contributions, and requested donations from family and friends in lieu of birthday gifts. Since 2017, more than 20 musicians and vocalists have performed at fundraising events for Meg’s foundation, “Notable Measures.” And in that time, the organization has made grants of $300 to $1,000 to eight schools and music/arts organizations across the state, and provided scholarships for three students to play in a youth orchestra.