Benefit concert in honor of Willa Mae Innis


Photo courtesy of Mr. Helvie

Mrs. Willa Mae Innis past away in January and is being honored with a benefit concert.

Abbey Humbert, Staff Writer

A life that touched so many in the Fine Arts Department and all throughout the school is being recognized. Willa Mae Innis passed away Jan. 8 from cancer and is being honored for her 20 years at LHS through a benefit concert.

The concert was initially scheduled to take place on May 20 but was postponed until next fall on Sept. 21, explained Innis’s former supervisor, Mr. Dustin Helvie.

“The decision was made to postpone to get additional students and faculty involved.  

With postponing, we will have more time to advertise and increase attendance of this special event,” explained Mr. Helvie, the fine arts supervisor. Innis was Mr. Helvie’s assistant.

The idea of the concert was brought to Mr. Helvie by Zach Pearson, a junior, who had a vision to give back to Innis because she did so much for the school and Fine Arts Department.

She was such a constant presence in all of Fine Arts, and I wanted to facilitate an opportunity for everyone involved in Fine Arts at LHS to give something back to her.  She touched a lot of lives, and I wanted to let everyone say thanks for that!” exclaimed Pearson.

On a more personal level for Pearson, he explained that “she was among the most honestly kind people I’ve ever had the privilege of meeting.  Just a smile from Willa could make your day,” he stated.

People who are planning on attending the concert will be asked to pay for tickets. The proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society in Innis’s name.

In preparation for the event, Mr. Helvie and Pearson have been busy scheduling times and areas around the school to have this concert. Pearson has also been talking to the fine arts teachers and students to get them interested in participating in the concert. Mr. Helvie will be overseeing the event, whereas Pearson is working on publicity.

This benefit concert is one that all of the fine arts program can get involved in. The idea is that the choir, band, orchestra, dance, art, and/or theatre will all have a presence at the event. It is still unknown if the performers will be coming up with new pieces or using pieces they already know.

The Innis family has been asked to be the guests of honor at this event.

“She loved seeing all the work that we put on, and it was always a calming feeling knowing she was around backing us all up, facilitating so much behind the scenes work, and rooting for us!” exclaimed Pearson.