Margaret Hins and Lori Fraley
Community Advocates for the Bemidji choral music program

Nominated by Chris Fettig
Presented by Dwight Jilek (Northwest District Chair)

Photo l-r: Chris Fettig, Margaret Hins, Lori Fraley, Dwight Jilek

To volunteer, to build, to take a task of stewardship and create a masterpiece, to do everything to your utmost, to always go above and beyond expectation, to do all of this and still manage to be that person that everyone wants to be around! This is how I would describe our NW District “Advocate for Choral Excellence” Award recipients.

Tonight I have the privilege of presenting this award to two of the most fabulous people I have had the pleasure to work with and call friends. Margaret Hins and Lori Fraley. These amazing women have helped to build, shape, and maintain choral music in ISD 31 and the Bemidji area for more than 20 years. They have done this selflessly with incredible character and style. Both demonstrate the true meaning of good stewardship and true volunteerism.

Our first recipient is Margaret Hins. Margaret started volunteering behind the scenes in 2006. Her biggest contributions came when she took on the job as treasurer of Show Choirs of Bemidji, Inc. (SCOBI) and became the manager of the Bemidji Area Summer Show Choir Camp.

As treasurer, she has the most involved and time-consuming job on the SCOBI board of directors. She deals with over $75,000 every year; collecting fees, money from fundraisers, paying bills, balancing the books, filing annual tax reports, and all other accounting responsibilities. The programs we have been able to provide under the umbrella of SCOBI are: Summer Show Choir Camp, two high school show choirs, Festival Treble Chorus, and The Bemidji Boy Choir!

In 2007 we also started our annual Bemidji Area Summer Show Choir Camp. This camp serves over 120 young people every year and introduces them to choral music! Margaret played a crucial part in starting the camp and has remained a driving force in seeing the camp continue to flourish the past 15 years. Margaret has done all the administrative work for the camp, freeing up the directors to just handle the music making! She also offers comfort, warmth, and counsel to all the campers. The student’s love for Margaret is obvious. During the week she offers encouragement to all the students and makes sure no one is left behind! The back of her camp shirt simply says Margaret and whenever she is introduced the kids go wild!

Our second recipient is Lori Fraley. If you google “the ultimate parent volunteer” on your phone a picture of Lori will come up! I have worked with Lori for the past 20 years! She was a parent volunteer while her 5 kids all went through the Bemidji music programs and she has continued to serve even after her youngest child graduated in 2012!

Lori has done everything. Equipment hauler, kitchen crew, hostess, server, chaperone, head chaperone, sewing and costumes, fundraising organizer, Co-Chair for Bemidji Show Choirs Parent Group, President of the Music Boosters, Vice President of Show Choirs of Bemidji, Inc., substitute conductor, concert manager and producer, and general consultant!

The sheer quantity of her involvement is enough to fill pages but remember the part about going above and beyond expectations. For 20 years now Lori has organized our Spring Fundraising Concert. This concert involves all four of our middle and high school show choirs in performance with guest vocal ensembles including professional a cappella groups like The Macalasters, Four Shadow, Marcoux Corner, home Free, Six Appeal, and The Sound Exchange. This event started as a one night event with about 200 people in attendance and has grown to two nights with over 2,000 people attending! But this wasn’t enough! Lori has worked tirelessly to get this event totally underwritten by local companies to make it an incredible fundraising event raising over $27,000 profit!

On behalf of ACDA of Minnesota, we thank Lori Fraley and Margaret Hins for their incredible work!