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Norwin Show Choir reaches out to community

| Sunday, April 29, 2012, 12:43 p.m.

It's been a busy week for the Norwin Show Choir and even though it's Friday, the work is not over yet.

The students will stage two annual events Saturday -- its performing arts day and a flea market.

The performing arts event, to be held from 9 a.m. to noon, gives the Norwin Show Choir a chance to invite students in kindergarten through eighth grade to learn a dance routine. By 11:30 a.m., family and friends gather in the high school auditorium to watch everyone perform the steps they've learned throughout the morning. The workshop costs $10, and for an additional $8, a child can purchase a specially designed T-shirt for the event.

Meanwhile, in the cafeteria many parents of show choir members volunteer to run a flea market held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The sale features items donated by the community, including books, decorations, household goods, remodeling items, clothing, toys, electronic equipment and furniture.

Cheryl Walter, Norwin Show Choir director, said both traditions got started more than a decade ago.

"Probably we make about $1,500 selling other people's treasures," said Walter, explaining she accepts donations from the community year-round. Sales from the concession stand that day also factor in to the total amount of money raised.

She emphasized items are reasonably priced and the last hour is known as the time for "big bag specials." The big bag of items is priced at $2, she explained.

No one is allowed to shop early, she said, adding there are always people gathered before 8 a.m. hoping to get the first look at the sale items.

"They (customers) come up with all these excuses as to why we should let them in early," Walter said.

Looking over the sea of donated items, Andie Kyros, a senior and show choir member, said, "We have a pretty good variety (of items)."

Kyros remembered that last year she picked up a "Buns of Steel" workout video for a quarter.

She said she did use it, "but it's not really working. I wasn't religious about it."

Kyros said the money raised at the flea market helps subsidize the group's trip to compete in Tennessee in the spring.

When asked about the Norwin Show Choir, Kyros explained that students have to audition to become a member of the class. She said the class attracts students who enjoy singing and dancing.

"And we're really big on community service," Kyros said, adding that the group performs at places such as soup kitchens and nursing homes.

The students do a Christmas stocking project that benefits needy children.

Kyros credited the parents of the students who help a great deal in volunteering for all the show choir's endeavors.

Sue Sudzina, whose son Scott is in the show choir, is affectionately known as "the mother in charge."

"That's what they call me," she said, explaining she serves as a parent liaison.

"I try to organize the fundraising events and delegate jobs," said Sudzina, who makes sure everyone is aware of what's going on.

When it comes to the flea market and concession stand, Sudzina said the show choir sends out fliers and e-mails in January, asking for donations.

"We categorize it as best as we can," said Sudzina, explaining that many of the mothers who volunteer spend hours pricing the items.

Today is the day the show choir students bring all items to the cafeteria, where they are separated into categories for ease of browsing.

"We have it pretty well organized," said Sudzina, noting that the chairwoman of the flea market this year is Norma Lia and the chairwoman of the concession stand is Rita Feals.

"It's usually a big success," she said.

"Everything runs pretty smoothly because we have a good volunteer base," Sudzina said. "It takes a lot of manpower, or womanpower."

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