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Profiles: Don Wallace, Chairman SAW Board of Directors

Don Wallace

Don Wallace

Don Wallace has two unrelated careers; he is a school social worker for the Milwaukee Public Schools and he is a realtor for First Realty.  In addition, he makes a third “career” out of his community service. He is a natural for the String Academy board.  He has devoted his life to helping young people and has a love for music which dates back to his high school days as a French horn player in band and orchestra. Julie Hochman interviewed Don in January.

JH: How did you get involved in the SAW board?

DW: Mimi and I talked about possible places to provide instruction [when SAW was starting out]. Then she said, “We’d really like to get some people together for a luncheon/meeting and to hear the kids play.”

Don thought of Julilly Kohler and invited her.

DW: I think the first student that I heard was Erica Smith. She was playing the Kreisler piece, Praeiudium and Allegro. Anyone who’s heard the kids play is hooked. They are! It’s impossible not to be hooked. At that luncheon, Julilly Kohler, Don’s guest, agreed to join the newly-formed SAW board on one condition, that Don would join, too!

JH: What is your role on the board?

DW: All that I have really done is to introduce to the String Academy people who have contacts with foundations and to give interested people an opportunity to see and hear what the String Academy is alt about. These people in turn have been able to guide us to other possible supporters.

“All that I have really done,” in Don’s case is really quite a bit. Don has in fact helped to bring long-term financial support to SAW.  Fortunately, we at SAW contribute something to Don’s life:

DW: It’s good for the soul, to be involved in something like this.  It’s really wonderful to see kids doing such positive things.

JH: Why do you think it is important that SAW continue its work?  Why do you serve on our board?

DW: I think it’s wonderful for the community. I think it’s wonderful for the individual children involved. I think it’s wonderful for the families.  And… it’s wonderful for people to be given the opportunity to support it!

JH: Thanks, Don!

[For a non-profit organization, the building of a supportive network is a long, necessary process.  The String Academy gratefully acknowledges the work of our Board Chairman, Don Wallace. Ed.]

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