MANCHESTER - During the week of Dec. 2-8, Mother Myrick's Confectionery will be donating $1 from each buttercrunch sale in their Route 7A Manchester store toward the Scholarship Fund of the Manchester Music Festival's Michael Rudiakov Music Academy (MRMA). This is the third year in a row Mother Myrick's has created a benefit for MRMA, though the relationship between the company and MMF goes back to the 1980s, when Young Artists from MMF's summer program would play concerts on the patio of the old Mother Myrick's ice-cream parlor. Though the ice-cream parlor is gone, the famous buttercrunch remains a perennial favorite and a sweet way to support young people's music education.

MRMA, founded in 2001, provides instruction in violin, viola or cello. MRMA students aged 4 to 18 take lessons from highly trained professionals, and participate in recitals, family concerts, master classes, ensembles and other events. Because many students cannot afford to purchase or rent an instrument and also pay tuition, the Academy provides scholarship assistance to as many students as possible, giving them the opportunity to experience the world of classical music. In addition, Manchester Music Festival offers in-school residency programs, free concerts for schools and hosts Music Discovery Week, an introductory program providing low-cost lessons to community children during the summer.

Stop in to Mother Myrick's for your buttercrunch to give the "Gift of Music!" For those who prefer to contribute directly to the Scholarship Fund, designated donations may be sent to Michael Rudiakov Music Academy, c/o Manchester Music Festival, P. O. Box 33, Manchester, VT 05254.