Metropolitan Chorale of Kansas City shines brightly for charity concert

Cancer survivor Trevor Jolley (right) served as a Hero Helper for the Sunny Days Ahead concert.

To say one of Metropolitan Community College’s featured cultural arts ensembles was wowed by the response at a spring fundraiser would be an understatement.

The Metropolitan Chorale of Kansas City, based at the MCC-Blue River campus, presented its concert “Sunny Days Ahead,” a benefit for Alex’s Lemonade Stand, in April.

It was standing room only with a crowd of several hundred and more than $6,000 raised. The money was twice what the Chorale anticipated.

“Absolutely for me, this event was a success because of the big hearts  of the choir and the audience,” says Rebecca Johnson, Chorale director.  “Also, we had a 65-member children’s choir there whose teacher was a former MCC-Blue River student of mine. They just added the cherry on top of an already terrific event.”

Johnson says much of the night’s success came through the leadership of Chorale manager Amy Jolley.  Amy and her husband, Doug, as well as numerous other members of their extended family, have sung with the Chorale for years.

The Jolleys’ son Trevor successfully battled childhood cancer several years ago.  Johnson says, “The entire chorale sort of went through the ordeal with Doug and Amy – with much admiration for the way they handled things.”

The Jolleys have subsequently become very involved with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and its mission.

“During my time with the Chorale, charities for our benefit performance have included Habitat for Humanity and Ronald McDonald House.  We averaged around $2,000 to $3,500 at those shows,” says Amy Jolley.  “We knew that we wanted a fresh new benefit this year, and when Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation came up it just seemed perfect.”

Trevor was diagnosed at age 3 in 2009 with leukemia. Amy says the Chorale was so supportive through the 3-1/2 years of treatment and have continued to be, often inquiring about Trevor and checking up on his well-being.  More than 30 Chorale members sang at the benefit.

Trevor was one of several Hero Helpers passing the “lemonade pitcher” at the event.

Sunny Days Ahead was a cheerful, positive program featuring songs like “Sitting on Top of the World,” and “Kumbaya.”

“Much of the music chosen really captured the essence of Alex, her legacy and the mission of the foundation,” Amy Jolley said. “Music that just reached right to the heart and soul.”

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation has raised more than $100 million in its dedication to pediatric cancer research, helping to fund more than 475 cutting-edge research projects since 2000. Though Alexandra (Alex) Flynn Scott, founder of the lemonade stand at age 4, is no longer with us, her legacy of strength, hope and better things to come live on.

“The evening was magical because of the energy,” says Johnson.

The Chorale is made up of MCC students, faculty, staff and community members.

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To learn more about the Metropolitan Chorale of Kansas City, click here.