The Pitch Pipe January 2022

Page 35


ight inside the front doors of Sweet Adelines Headquarters in Tulsa, Oklahoma (USA), you'll find the Hughes Gehrke Champion Showcase. The showcase holds dolls representing each champion chorus and quartet in Sweet Adelines history. The showcase is just one way Shelly Hughes and Mike Gehrke have supported Sweet Adelines. The showcase honors Sweet Adelines history while looking toward the future, something Shelly and Mike believe in. During Sweet Adelines International’s 2021 Support Life on a High Note campaign, Shelly issued a challenge to other donors, calling on them to join forces just as they have joined voices in harmony. She recently spoke on video with Susan Smith, Chief Philanthropy and Administrative Officer, about her reasons for giving.

Susan Smith: Shelly, will you tell us a little about your involvement with Sweet Adelines over the years?

Shelly Hughes: I’ve been a proud member of

Sweet Adelines International since 1988. I currently sing with both Melodeers Chorus and Midwest Crossroad Chorus. I’m an RMT member for Midwest Harmony Region #3, serving as Finance Coordinator. For over 30 years I’ve been involved with our regional convention, serving as chair of the regional convention since 2006.

Susan: What has your involvement with Sweet

Adelines been like during your 33+ years of membership?

Shelley: Sweet Adelines has provided me many

opportunities to be creative through performing and to grow administratively. Volunteering for numerous positions at the chorus, regional and international levels has allowed me to get to know this organization from many different perspectives. I’ve met some amazing singers who value our traditions yet constantly review our practices to make sure the necessary changes are made to protect our future. Sweet Adelines leadership is extraordinary.

Susan: How has the depth of your involvement and

the opportunities you experienced while being a member of Sweet Adelines International impacted your interest in supporting the organization?

Shelly: Giving is a very, very important part of

my life. Each year my husband Mike [Gehrke] and I evaluate where we would like to donate, set target

dollar amounts, and look for projects or events that need our time. Sweet Adelines is always among our highest priorities — definitely a sound investment with huge returns.

Susan: I understand that you and Mike have decided to do something special for Sweet Adelines’ Support Life on High Note campaign this year. Could you tell us about it?

Shelly: Having personally seen how my

contributions have been used for the betterment of Sweet Adelines, Mike and I have decided to make a $25,000 [USD] challenge gift to Support Life on a High Note campaign this year. It is my sincere hope that this $25,000 challenge gift will inspire other members to think about all that they have gained from Sweet Adelines over the years.

Susan: What would you like our members to take away from this announcement?

Shelly: I invite you to join me and make your gift

to our campaign and turn my $25,000 into $50,000! Through Support Life on a High Note, we can assure Sweet Adelines will continue for the next 75 years.

Susan: Shelly, on behalf of the international board

of directors, the leadership team, the staff, and members of Sweet Adelines International, thank you for your incredible generosity. Thanks to you and the many members who are joining you, our organization will achieve its vision of inspiring and empowering voices to joyfully harmonize the world.

You can make your gift to Support Life on a High Note by going to or by texting “Support” to 1.918.992.4838 (U.S. phone numbers only.)

All gifts will help Sweet Adelines International meet Shelly’s Challenge. January 2022 |