Benefit to help Ray High graduate’s music students

 A Dinner Benefit to raise money for the John Slater Music Scholarship Fund, will be held Nov. 2, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. at Mi Amigos Mexican Grill in Mesa. The John Slater Music Scholarship Fund will benefit a graduate of Ray High who has participated in and demonstrated a commitment to the Ray High music program.

Slater, a 1979 graduate of Ray High School, and son of Jean and the late Bert Slater, died June 2, while piloting his plane in Mexico on a humanitarian mission with the non-profit LIGA (Flying Doctors of Mercy).

“Because the Ray High School music program was an important part of his life, his family established this fund to honor him, his love of music and his contribution to the Ray High School band program,” said Carla Slater, John’s sister and a graduate of Ray High.

Slater grew up in Kearny and began playing the saxophone in the fifth grade. He continued his love of music all through high school with the Ray High concert, marching and jazz bands as well as the Ray Rock Ensemble.

“John really loved his music,” said Mark Munoz, former director of the Ray High music program. “The one quality that I loved about John was his enthusiasm for the music program and everything he did. He always had a smile on his face.”

In 1979, he received the John Phillip Sousa Award from Director Munoz, which is an honor given to seniors for outstanding music performance throughout high school. Other honors included being chosen to perform in the Arizona All State Band and the Central Region Music Festival.

Tickets are $25 and include a Mexican buffet with all additional proceeds to go towards the scholarship fund. Donations to the scholarship fund can also be made to The John Slater Music Scholarship Fund, c/o Bank of the West, 374 Alden Rd., Kearny, AZ 85137

“For those interested in attending, please RSVP prior to the event,” said Slater. To RSVP or obtain additional information, contact Carla Slater at 858-922-3221 or

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