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Donation helps spread Inner Harbour’s drumbeat

April 30, 2012

Lynn Goodendorf was initially skeptical of the benefits of drumming.

She plays the piano, and is aware of the power of music. But she was unconvinced of claims that Youth Villages–Inner Harbour’s drumming program stimulates brain activity and makes children more open to therapy.

Lynn Goodendorf

At Inner Harbour, the African drum program engages youth in building and playing drums. It improves their hand-eye coordination and teaches musical skills. The program also reports youth achieve a state of reduced feelings of anger and depression. In fact, they report feeling rejuvenated and stronger. Many report more beneficial therapy sessions following drumming.

Goodendorf would have to try it herself.

“When I was on the board at Inner Harbour, I was able to participate in a drumming lesson,” Goodendorf said. “I am musical, but I’d never played the drums. I’d observed the classes before and saw how much fun the youth were having, but to experience it was something else. It was wonderful, and I found myself energized, yet surprised at how calm I felt.”

For youth at Inner Harbour, the drumming program also offers learning opportunities and fosters cooperation and enhanced mental focus. Goodendorf recently donated $2,500 to the program.
Her donation is one of many that help the program continue through the purchase of materials to build the drums, expenses for off-campus performances and other supplies needed to continue the program. A group of young people in the program has performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., and has been invited to perform at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

“Lynn has long been a champion of the critical work being done at Inner Harbour,” said Emily Acker, Youth Villages Georgia director of residential programs. “Our drumming program is a real showcase of what our young people can accomplish, and her donation will go a long way in helping us continue that work.”

Goodendorf was on the Inner Harbour board of directors from 2003 to 2006, and still has an interest in the campus. She has a passion for helping children achieve success through experience and learning. In fact, her donation to benefit the drumming program wasn’t her first gift to Inner Harbour. In addition to her service on the board, Goodendorf also donated startup money for children to create a garden on campus after reading about how gardening was an effective therapy for concentration camp survivors after World War II.

Most of all, Goodendorf has a passion for helping children with behavioral issues get to the cause of their issues and move in a positive direction. She likes what Inner Harbour school’s experiential programs can accomplish.

“My husband and I are supporters of experiential programs to improve the effectiveness of more conventional mental health care treatment,” Goodendorf said. “Inner Harbour’s programs are on the leading edge of mental health care.”

The Youth Villages-Inner Harbour Campus is one of Georgia’s largest psychiatric residential treatment programs for seriously emotionally troubled children and youth. Serving young people throughout the Southeast since 1962, the Inner Harbour Campus merged with Youth Villages in the fall of 2009. The campus includes two lakes, a sports field, running track and playgrounds for recreational activities. Hiking trails, canoeing activities, a ropes course and equine therapy enhance treatment as well.

Goodendorf, vice president of data privacy services for VerSprite, has spent more than 20 years in computer and network security and risk management.

“No matter what your capacity to give, there is always something someone can do to make a difference in the lives of our young people,” said Mary Norman, Youth Villages Georgia director of development. “So much of what is accomplished at Inner Harbour requires donations of time and money. Lynn showed through her donations that she believes in the future and what our young people can accomplish.”

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