By Cameron Rasmusson
Plenty of locals need no extra reason to see Sadie Sicilia in concert.
The local singer and songwriter has a strong local following thanks to her powerful vocals and engaging performances. When she performs 7 p.m. Saturday, April 27, at the Panida Theater, however, she’s not just spreading a love of music — she’s also helping local kids learn about teamwork and diligence through student athletics.
The concert, which will also feature opening performances from student bands, will benefit Next Level Academy, a new student athletics organization starting this fall with a third- and fourth-grade flag-football program and a fifth- and sixth-grade tackle program. Co-founded by local parents Matt Thompson and Fred Blumenberg, Next Level Academy is all about instilling positive values in local kids.
“Youth sports is a great way to start building character, and we believe that the concepts of championship mindset, championship play and championship mentorship we will give these kids are translatable to the classroom, at home and within the community,” said Thompson.
While Next Level Academy is partnered with the YMCA for some of the logistics, it’s a Sandpoint program run by locals, for locals. It features brand-new equipment with five-star safety ratings and a team of organizers with years of experience in coaching student athletes.
“(Blumenberg and I) coached together this past fall, and after having conversations with many of the other parents involved, we knew that if we combined his knowledge of marketing and social media with my nearly 20 years of experience in youth sports in Sandpoint as a coach, official and board member, that we could create something that both players and families could be proud to be a part of,” Thompson said.
Registration is open now at www.nextlevelacademy.us with no payment due until August. Better yet, registered athletes can reduce or even eliminate their payment by selling raffle tickets for the classic care raffle during Lost in the ‘50s weekend. Half of each ticket sold goes toward lowering the registration fee.
Turning out for the concert is another great way to support Next Level Academy. Tickets are $20 for adults or $12 for 17 and under. They are available at www.panida.org, Eve’s Leaves, or through social media by messaging @nextlevelrise on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. You can also leave a voice mail at 208 304-4333.
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