Chief Sealth Honor Choir’s thank-you note, with Carnegie in view

It was way back in November when we first mentioned the Chief Sealth International High School Honor Choir‘s quest to raise money for a trip to sing at Carnegie Hallhere’s our photo of choir members selling cupcakes at the Southwest Community Center Holiday Bazaar – then, four months later, they were still at it, as shown above in our photo from last Sunday, with their second “rain or shine” car wash on Alki. Tonight they’ve shared an update on those car washes, and their upcoming Eastertime trip of a lifetime:

Dear WSB and West Seattle Community

We wanted to give you an update as to how our fundraising carwashes went. With the community’s support, we raised approximately $2,200. This would not have been possible if John Frank at Alki Auto Repair had not graciously allowed our group to use his location for our events, and if generous people had not shown up and supported us. The excellent coverage from the West Seattle Blog was “game-changing” and certainly had much to do with our success.

The saying “How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice” is certainly true. When we sent in our application, we had high hopes of getting selected to perform. Once invited, choir groups must coordinate everything through the official travel agency for Carnegie Hall and there is no negotiating travel costs. At $1,800 per performer and chaperone, the total seemed insurmountable. So in some ways the route to Carnegie Hall became “fundraise, fundraise, fundraise” for us. Our students determined that they did not want anyone prevented from participating due to cost. Each family would commit what they could pay and then the group would fundraise together to pay the remaining balance. No members knew how much any of the other members were paying, we just knew the total we needed to raise.

Thinking back to our first meeting for this trip, there was a real sense of dread at the sum we were committing to raise. Fundraising is difficult, and with a fragile economy it is even more so. Thankfully, this is a very motivated group, and their enthusiasm has been infectious especially at times where it would have been easier to give up.

We wanted you to know how much your support has meant to us. Every dollar and kind word given to us has been very much appreciated. Over six months of work, we have had hundreds of people behind us, telling us we could do it and wishing success for us. This kind of experience is life-altering and greatly empowering. Certainly the full weight of this will hit each of us when we are on stage at Carnegie Hall. Thank you for your role in this.

With Gratitude,

The Chief Sealth Honor Choir

4 Replies to "Chief Sealth Honor Choir's thank-you note, with Carnegie in view"

  • westseattledood March 30, 2011 (9:33 pm)

    What a great letter! Gave me goosebumps!

    Bravo CS Honor Choir and all of your WS supporters!

    Here’s to a fabulous experience at Carnegie!

  • Corina March 30, 2011 (10:31 pm)

    I know you will make us proud!!!!

  • coffee March 31, 2011 (4:22 am)

    When I was in High School in a little town in South Dakota, we took on the task of raising 50,000 (in 1984) so that we could be a part of the inaugural parade. We all thought no way, but we did it, and we went. It was the best feeling ever. The only bad part for us, it was one of the 2 (if memory serves me correctly) parades in history canceled due to weather! We still had the best experience of our lives, and so will the choir, and you won’t have to worry about a cancel due to weather!

  • Kathleen March 31, 2011 (8:33 am)

    Yes, that was a wonderful letter of thanks. You all should be so proud of yourselves for many reasons– getting invited, pulling together to fundraise (rain or shine!) as a team, accomplishing your goal, and thanking everyone for your support. You all are a class act! Now, have the best time while you are there– just soak it all in. In high school, some 30 years ago, our drama group went to Chicago to take part in national competitions and workshops. Same deal with the invitation and the seemingly impossible fundraising. 1st time on a plane for me, and the farthest east I had been. I remember it like it was yesterday. It was one of the best experiences of my life. Good luck to all of you and enjoy!!!!! Kathleen

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