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Niles HS concert choir in desperate need of new robes

NILES, Mich. -- Every team needs a uniform, right? The concert choir at Niles High School is asking for your help to purchase their first new robes in 50 years.

“The last few years, we’ve been using duct tape and different – anything we can muster up to keep the robes together during a performance,” said Julia Kosten, a senior choir member.

The robes are from the 1960s.

They’re fraying at the collars, the zippers are broken, and there are holes in places there shouldn’t be.

It’s all thanks to years of wear and tear.

“We need them,” said choral director Matthew Hunckler. “We really need them. The choir needs them. I’ve been working at trying to get them for the last 10 years.”

Hunckler has been in his position for nearly 30 years.

He said funding for the choir – and its 65 members – has dried up.

But they still need to wear the robes for each concert.

“I remember my freshman year, when I first came in here one of my friends that I met through choir, he was like, ‘Buckle up for the robes,’” said senior Jordan Jacques. “I had to duct tape it cause I was a freshman, so I got the worst robes.”

Even the outgoing seniors of the choir want new robes for their successors.

“If you go out there and you’re in a great costume, you’re all energetic and you feel like you’re actually part of something,” said senior Kaia Hurley. “But when your choir robe has staples in it that are scratching up your skin, not so much.”

Daysha Amster went to Niles High and was choir president in the 1990s.

She’s started a GoFundMe – which you can click here to donate to – with hopes of raising $8,500, so the kids can have new robes like most sports teams get new uniforms.

“I feel like we owe it to our kids here in the choir to also show up and set them up for success,” she said.

The choir is also hosting a fundraiser on Tuesday, November 28, at Wings Etc. on S. 11th Street in Niles.

From 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., the restaurant will donate 10% of its sales to the Niles High School Concert Choir.

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