HURRICANE — The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every layer of the fabric of our communities over the past year.
No less affected have been our children’s education and extracurriculars. Virtual learning for weeks at a time while our counties are governed by a color-coded map. Schoology, contact tracing, and remote learning are now a part of our vocabulary. In Putnam County, winter sports will not commence until a few weeks prior to the advent of spring.
Student nonprofit groups have been affected as well. Groups like the Hurricane High School show choirs, for example.
In November, a Go Fund Me campaign on behalf of the HHS show choirs was launched in order to appeal to the community for assistance.
Tina Rymer is president of the Hurricane Show Choir Boosters.
“It has been a difficult year for the show choirs,” Rymer admits. “Normally, these two groups fundraise all year long in order to cover their operating experiences. But COVID has either negatively impacted the fundraisers we tried to hold or canceled them altogether.”
Rymer, whose son John has been in Red Hot for four years, organized the Go Fund Me campaign along with two other parent volunteers, Shawna Linville and Amanda Smith.
Assisting them were the show choir students themselves.
On HHS Show Choirs Go Fund Me page, several choir members are included in a video titled “Hurricane Show Choirs Needs Your Help!” The video features student testimonials of how much show choir means to each one of them. More than one teenager cites the family dynamic they enjoy within the choir and the lifelong friendships they make therein.
“The Go Fund Me video is important because it shows the community just how much the show choir means to these kids, in their own words,” Rymer says.
She adds, “The video also shows that these students know just how much their community’s support means to them.”
Also featured on the Go Fund Me site are clips of past performances by the Red Hot and Heat Wave choirs.
Formed in 1992, Red Hot Show Choir is a co-ed choir with twelve state championships under its belt. In the past six years alone, Red Hot has vied in thirty-two competitions, winning twenty-three of those. They have never missed a final in any of those competitions.
At the helm of this highly successful group since 2015 is director Joseph Kincaid, who also directs Heat Wave, an all-girls choir.
Heat Wave has earned accolades since its inception in 2016, winning three state championships in that short period of time.
“Our students work really hard to prepare and perform their shows at a high level,” Rymer states. “Their success brings both joy and pride not only to Hurricane, but to all of Putnam County and even West Virginia, as well.”
She adds, “With our community’s help, they can continue to do so.”
If you would like to contribute to the Hurricane High School Show Choir Go Fund Me campaign, visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/hurricane-show-choirs-need-your-help.