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 Hall – here’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.
The Chief Sealth Honor Choir