The Meaning Behind the Music

Betty Stoloff Story
For Betty Stoloff of South Brunswick, there’s no better way to combine artistic spirit and community support than through a special weekend of children’s performances benefiting families in need – especially when she’s been in their shoes.

Betty Stoloff’s daughter, Rebecca, first started experiencing symptoms of a vasculitis condition when she was four years old. But in the fall of 1999, when Rebecca was 15, her health took a decided turn for the worse. As Betty and her husband rushed from their home in South Brunswick to the DuPont Hospital for Children in Delaware where Rebecca had been receiving treatment, their daughter became unconscious.

With the help of a nearby policeman and a local hospital, they made it to their destination via ambulance. Rebecca spent the next 10 days in the ICU, and then began a tough road to recovery. Not wanting to leave Rebecca’s side, Betty and her husband stayed in a nearby Ronald McDonald House for the next two months.

“It made all the difference,” says Betty. “We were not going home until we could come home with our daughter. Rebecca’s recovery was a long haul, but we made it through.”

Rebecca, now age 26, is currently completing her PhD in bioengineering at the University of California at Berkeley. And Betty, an adjunct associate professor of piano at the Westminster Choir College of Rider University, is spending her free time giving back to The Ronald McDonald House.

This past February, Betty organized her fourth “Children Helping Children Performathon” to benefit The Ronald McDonald House. The special weekend event included 13 concerts featuring performances by 250 students, some as young as five years old. This year, the event raised $16,000 for families in need – and together, the events grown over the years to raise a total of nearly $45,000 for The Ronald McDonald House.

“Now there’s no turning back,” she says. “The warmth that this event generates can be felt throughout the performance hall. It’s an incredible way to combine artistic spirit and community support, and it’s so meaningful that these children are helping other children through their talents.”

And, of course, Rebecca thinks it’s just amazing too.

To learn the many ways you can help families in need at The Ronald McDonald House, please visit our volunteer page or make a donation.