On June 29th, 2010, Sophie Rose Barton was hiking at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Heber Valley Camp when she felt dizzy and eventually collapsed, said Bishop Scott Wilmarth. Emergency crews responded to the camp and took Barton by ambulance to Heber Valley Medical Center around 4 p.m. When Sophie left the camp, she was conscious, but at the hospital she stopped breathing and was pronounced dead about 7 p.m.
Sophie was described as a gifted songwriter and a “best friend to everyone” who was well-loved among her friends, family and LDS Ward members. “Sophie was a light in our ward,” Bishop Wilmar said. “She didn’t seek out the limelight but the light always found her. This is somebody who served well, led a good life.”
The reason I’m writing about Sophie today is her legacy lives on through music, charity and giving. In 1993, former professional football player, Steve Young established the Forever Young Foundation to support community projects and non-profit organizations effectively serving the therapeutic and academic needs of seriously ill and underprivileged children. The organization is proud to introduce a new project called Sophie’s Place. Sophie’s Place, named in memory of our friend Sophie Barton, will fund music therapy rooms in hospitals to create awareness of the power of music to aid healing. Steve Young grew up in Connecticut with Barton’s mother, Anne-Marie. The idea to honor Sophie, who lived in Holladay and attended Olympus High School, and promote music therapy came from Young’s wife, Barb. The concept is an extension of the Forever Young Zones created in three hospitals, including PCMC, that provide recreational and social opportunities, outside of the patients’ rooms. You can watch the YouTube video of the grand opening that occurred in 2013 at the Primary Children’s Medical Center in Salt Lake City. To raise funds for Sophie’s Place, on June 27th & 28th, Steve will be joining some of his friends from the NFL, NBA, PGA and Major League Baseball to host the 2016 Steve Young Mountain Classic at Red Ledges Golf Club in Heber City, Utah.
Music is such an amazing gift. I can definitely attest to the power of music and how it can change people’s lives. Though I’m not a songwriter or musician, I’ve seen first hand how music compliments film and video during editing and how emotions flourish because of it’s power. Sophie is said to have performed 100 hours in hospitals because she understood the power of music and it’s ability to heal. Her talent brought healing to young people suffering from pain, chronic illness, and serious injury. During the 2012 Mountain Classic, Anne-Marie Barton greeted participants, giving them a personal sense of the charitable effort, and joined the Young’s in an interview. “Music changes everything,” she said.
In addition to fundraising for Sophie’s Place at the 2016 Mountain Classic, funds will also help in supporting three “Forever Young Zones”. Hospital Forever Young Zones are recreational therapy rooms created to provide tools for exercising the imagination of seriously ill children who face emotional and physical challenges. Forever Young Media Zones provide a state-of-the-art radio, TV, film and design studio, as well as a professional-quality recording studio with an isolated vocal booth and digital audio mixing. The goal of these zones is to put technological tools into the hands of creative young people, allowing them to explore and prepare for careers in media and design while developing practical production and copy through their own artistic expression. The 8 to 80 Zones are a collaboration between Steve Young and Jerry Rice, which provide youth living in under served communities the skills to pursue careers in technology and media. Steve and Jerry’s partnership with The 49ers Academy continues to offer creative, exciting experiences to youth that attend the school.
Current Forever Young Zones locations:
Primary Children’s Hospital: Salt Lake City, UT, Cardon Children’s Medical Center: Mesa, AZ, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital: Palo Alto, CA, Treehouse Children’s Museum: Ogden, UT, Wasatch Adaptive Sports: Snowbird, UT, Wooster School: Danbury, CT, Plummer Home For Boys: Salem, MA
MetamoraTV will be covering this charity event
I’m proud to be a supporter of the Steve Young Foundation and Sophie’s Place. As the host of MetamoraTV, I’ll be covering this event on June 27th in Heber City, Utah. The event fits our mission perfectly: “transformative, thought-provoking journalism.” Please join us in supporting the 2016 Steve Young Mountain Classic. Donations are being accepted through the Steve Young Foundation website. Thank you.
– Matt Duhamel, Filmmaker/Host