EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- A local show choir for people with special needs wrapped up its summer concert series Wednesday at the Pablo Center.
A local show choir for people with special needs wrapped up its summer concert series Wednesday at the Pablo Center.
The Hearts in Harmony show choir was able to finally see all of its hard work pay off in the group's final performance of the summer.
Parents of the kids say that the program helps their kids enhance their social skills and applauded all of the hard work that their kids do.
Annette Van Dyke has a son in the choir that has been in the program since its inception two years ago.
“This is an amazing group,” Van Dyke said. “The kids get together and they usually have helpers, and then under the direction of Shauna, they put together a show for us. So it can be dancing, it could be singing, it could be a combination. It is really cool.”
Volunteers for the program say they have a fun time doing it and love seeing the look on the kid's faces when it is all over.
Courtney Grieser has been volunteering with the show choir since last summer, and looks forward to continuing.
“It is so awesome,” Grieser said. “I think my favorite part is watching how excited the kids get. They smile and they laugh they’re just really enthusiastic about it.”
Director, Shauna Eilts, says the kids love being able to perform for the community.
"Their smiles are just breathtaking,” Eilts said. “They’re so amazing, they'll do anything and their energy is limitless."
The program is in its second year and continues to grow with the help of the community
“We’ve seen tremendous growth in the last two years with more than 18 participants and 10 volunteers,” she said. "I don’t even have words for it, it is just so emotional, and inspirational."
Putting on the program is a lot of work, but Eilts says she wouldn’t have it any other way and says that the hard work by her students motivates and inspires her.
"I just wouldn’t want to do anything else,” Eilts said. “It’s a lot of work but the rewards are even better, so it’s been an absolute blessing. Hearts in harmony is for students age 14-24, and if they would like to participate, they can find us on Facebook, Hearts in Harmony and can leave us a message.”
The next concert series will be in the fall and organizers say it will be very fun to plan another program for the energetic participants.