The Sara F. Gassman Foundation was founded in April 2009 by Sara's three sons. It is dedicated to remembering Sara’s love of music, compassionate spirit, and ability to help children find the confidence that comes from musical success.
The Sara Gassman Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. We collaborate with local Florida music educators to identify students that may not otherwise have the opportunity to experience music instruction.
The Foundation was established in memory of Sara F. Gassman, a beloved music teacher, mother, grandmother, wife, mentor, and friend. Sara started teaching piano at age 13, after her neighborhood postman in Ft. Worth, Texas heard her playing and asked for a lesson. In a career that spanned 59 years, she taught students who made it to star on Broadway, television shows, and the country music charts.
Her love for children and music was her true calling, and she had the unique ability to help children recognize and develop their musical abilities and confidence. She derived great joy from instilling good values, a solid adult/child relationship, and helping children find the confidence that comes from accomplishing artistic success at an early age. For many of her students, having that supportive adult on the piano bench made all the difference growing up.
In addition to teaching piano, Sara developed a comprehensive music program at Park Maitland, where she was a music and drama teacher. Through Park Maitland School, private teaching, and later teaching music at Seminole Community College, she touched thousands of lives.
By the time Sara died suddenly of pancreatic cancer at the age of 72, she was teaching the children of former students. While spending the final days with her in the hospital, Sara's three sons came up with the idea of establishing a foundation to honor her. They wanted a way for her spirit to continue and to carry forward the support and encouragement that had touched the lives of so many of her students.
The Foundation was formed to provide piano lessons for underprivileged children and working opportunities for piano teachers who teach them, bringing music into the lives of people who need it most.
"Sara showed me how the love of music could soothe so many ills and bring such joy into my life."