Ginny Mancini gets lots of solicitations delivered to her Westwood home, thanks to her many decades of philanthropy. But regrettably, she said, she can't answer every plea for help. She's 90 years old, after all, and everyone has to slow down at some point.
Several years ago, though, the former singer and widow of the late composer Henry Mancini received a letter that commanded her attention. It was from a Boyle Heights nonprofit she'd never heard of.
"It said, 'Neighborhood Music School,' and I saw the image of what the school looked like," Ginny said.
What it looked like, she said, was the kind of school she wished she could have escaped to as a child. A...