By Tracy McNew
On Friday night, April 6, the commons at Libby Elementary was packed with families, friends and supportive community members gathered to help Mrs. Braun’s Children’s Choir raise money for their upcoming trip to a competition music festival in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
“The choir raises funds to enter this competition every year,” said Sindy Filler, one of the volunteers who helped organize the event. “This year’s event is very successful. We have three times the number of people we normally do,” she said.
In agreement Braun said “It is very moving to see so many people here to support these kids.”
The annual event is put together by a group of volunteers who are, for the most part, parents of choir students.
Cait Faulkner is one exceptional volunteer and an exception to the rule too. “She does most of the work for the auctions,” said Filler, “and she hasn’t had kids in the choir for years.”
“I really appreciate all of the help we get,” Braun said. “Cait Faulkner, Sindy Filler and our cook who is the father of a choir student, all put a lot of work into this.”
The event featured a silent auction, a live auction, a performance by the choir, and a pulled pork dinner. Attendance was so good this year that the pulled pork sandwiches ran out, and some prepared food was purchased so everyone with tickets could have dinner.
Mrs. Purdy, a third grade teacher covered the dessert course with six different flavors of homemade cupcakes. Purdy sold her cupcakes for $1 each allowing her to make a significant donation to the cause.
Fifth grade student, Mae Mae sang a solo during the fundraiser and told The Montanian that she was thankful for all of the people who came out to support the choir.
“I’m excited to go to the competition, but I’m kind of nervous to perform in front of all of the people there,” she said.
Mae Mae was working with volunteer, Samantha Newton, at the event when the two paused to talk with The Montanian.
Newton is an eighth grader who sings in the Middle School Honors Choir and donates her time on Tuesdays to help Braun with the Children’s Choir.
“I was in this choir for a long time and I love helping and working with the kids,” Newton said.
Fourth grade student and first time choir member, Riley, told The Montanian, “Being in choir is such a great experience. Mrs. Braun is an amazing teacher and it’s so much fun. It’s really hard work too, but it helps me be more responsible.”
The choir students will all attend the music festival in May, and according to Mrs. Braun they are sure to have a great experience at the event.
In past years, the choir has won the event numerous times competing against others from four states; Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. “A few times, they’ve even received a perfect score,” Braun said. “This year there are a lot of kids so I don’t expect perfection but they still have time to practice too.”
The Children’s Choir is made up of public school, Christian school, and home school students in the first through sixth grades.