Boy Scout collects instruments to donate to local schools

Boy Scout Karl Kilb (center) sold homemade chocolates shaped like instruments at St. John the Evangelist Church on East 55th Street last November. (From left to right: Charles Greatrex, Jacob Tannen, Trevor Kilb, Karl Kilb, Calista Kilb, Christopher Gergis and Jed Chapin)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

When Boy Scout and LaGuardia High School student Karl Kilb had to come up with an idea for a service project to become an Eagle Scout, helping out young musicians seemed like the perfect fit. The 15-year-old sophomore is an instrumental music major at the performing arts school and plays piano, clarinet and saxophone.

“I wanted to do something to help the music community and wanted to do something that would reflect my interests in music so this combined those things really well,” he said

Recently, Kilb, an East Midtown resident, enlisted the help of his fellow members at Troop 414 at Immaculate Conception and together they collected 67 instruments that will be distributed at neighborhood schools.

Kilb is donating the instruments to Third Street Music Settlement on East 11th Street, as well as the Children’s Workshop School (PS 361) in Alphabet City and the Anna Silver School (PS 20) on Essex Street.

In addition to collecting the instruments, which included violins, flutes, trombones, guitars and even a baby grand piano, Kilb also raised almost $1,000 to supplement the project, using the funds to transport and refurbish the donated instruments.

He raised the cash by making homemade chocolates in the shape of musical instruments, which he then sold with his friends and other Scouts at Immaculate Conception as well as St. John the Evangelist in Midtown and Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in New Rochelle after masses.

Karl Kilb

“We sold out every single time,” he said.

Kilb spread the word about his project through flyers as well as through social media, and ended up collecting donations from all over the city, including from Brooklyn and Queens, and even some from just outside the city in Westchester. Kilb’s family also has a residence in Hawley, Pennsylvania and thanks to a notice in a local newspaper there, some donations came in from as far as Pennsylvania as well.

Moving the piano in Brooklyn to its new home in PS 361 used up almost half of the funds that he raised, Kilb said, but he was able to use the rest of the money to fix up the other instruments that were donated.

Kilb still needs to present his project to the Board of Review to officially become an Eagle Scout but at the moment he’s focusing on getting the instruments delivered to their respective schools.

Dara Lehon, a representative for Third Street Music Settlement, said that Kilb was scheduled to deliver instruments to the school last Monday. Instruments going to Third Street include 10 violins, three clarinets, four saxophones, two electric guitars, two flutes, two trumpets and two trombones. Lehon said that the instruments will be used by students who are in need.

“We’re really grateful he was able to do this,” she added. “It’s a really nice collection of instruments.”

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