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Recent grad’s donation is music to choir director’s ears


New graduate Jacob Helke is giving back to the Stillwater Area High School choir program in a big way. The Class of 2021 alum donated $3000 from his graduation party money. Helke says choir has been a huge part of his life and he wanted to give back to the program that meant so much to him.

Helke first started singing in choir in 5th grade at Stonebridge Elementary. He sang at Stillwater Middle School and SAHS where he performed in the 9th grade men’s choir, Varsity Tenor/Bass choir, The Stillwater Choir and The Vagabonds.

“Choir is kind of how I made it through high school,” said Helke. “It’s kind of something I relied on. All my friends I found in choir.”

Because Helke wouldn't need his grad party money for college (he’s enlisted in the Air Force) he felt it was better suited for the fine arts program at SAHS.

Choir director Angela Mitchell was blown away by his generosity. She plans to use some of the money to help students in need of financial assistance attend The Stillwater Choir tour to San Diego next spring.

“In addition, we always have need for piano tunings and repairs,” said Mitchell. “Buying new sheet music for all the choirs and hiring supporting musicians (accompanists, instrumentalists etc.) Jacob’s gift will be put to good use this year!”

Helke was excited to hear that the money will help students participate in the national tour, especially after he missed out on two tours because of COVID-19. 

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