The Decorah Music Boosters organization has kicked off a $20,000 fundraising campaign for new robes for the Decorah High School Concert Choir.
Funds raised will buy 70 robes and also cover the costs of robe storage racks and travel bags and will begin a robe maintenance fund.
The current robes were purchased in 1976 and are over 33 years old. Decorah High School choir director Jason Rausch says, "Choir robes can be expected to last around 25 years. The current robes have held up remarkably well, but it is time for new ones."
The new choir robes will be black with blue lining in the sleeves. The red and blue stole will feature a signature "D". In the interest of conserving resources, the current Concert Choir robes will be worn by Viking Chorus and the Freshmen Choirs, allowing all choirs to be robed.
The robe fund has received over $12,000 in gifts and pledges, but more support is needed to reach the goal. "We know the Decorah community will respond to this fundraising effort," says Rausch. "This community is incredibly generous and supportive of the arts, and Decorah is home to many fine church and community choirs. These students are learning to be lifelong musicians and, someday, many of them will sing in those choirs."
The robe fundraising campaign will take place in January and February, with a goal of presenting the new robes this spring.
A donor may sponsor the cost of an entire robe with a gift of $250. At this level, the donor will have the opportunity to make their gift "in honor" or "in memory" of someone special. A commemorative tag will be sewn into the sponsored robe.
"The idea of sponsoring a robe seems to resonate with many people. These new robes will last at least two decades and every time someone puts on a robe, they will be reminded of the support they receive from this community," says Maria Smith, chair of the robe fundraising committee.
Gifts over $50 will be recognized on a plaque in the choir/orchestra room at Decorah High School. All gifts, no matter the amount, will be recognized in future choir concert programs.
"Every gift makes a difference", says Smith. "At the December choir concert, a former Concert Choir member gave me a $20 bill and said that he was excited about the new robes and wanted to give what he could. What a touching example of the support the choir program has enjoyed in Decorah for many years!"
Individual and business donors may download a giving form at www.decorahmusicboosters.org. Donors may also request a form by contacting Maria Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or (563) 382-0899. Decorah Music Boosters is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. All gifts in support of the robe fund are tax-deductible.