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Newsletter Highlights:

Winter 2004

South African Adventure

Winter 2002

Chorus on Pacific Northwest Tour 2002

Bess Spiva Timmons grant helps fund new Chorus van

Winter 2001

Chorus Partners: ContraVest Properties and the Donald Pitt Family Foundation

Summer 2000

60th anniversary alumni share their Chorus memories

Winter 2000

TABC alumnus Brent Davis grants $10,000 to the Chorus

Alumni Spotlight: Former Ambassador Curtis Kamman & Editor Jon Kamman



Bess Spiva Timmons grant helps fund new Chorus van

Sometimes gifts come in extraordinary ways.

When Tim and Louise Spears brought their son, Cosmo, a Touring chorister, to the airport for Orient Odyssey Tour last year, Dr. Ackerley asked for a parent to drive the Boys Chorus van back to the rehearsal hall. Tim volunteered, and from the moment he sat in the van, Tim said he knew "something had to be done."

"I felt like I was in a time warp," said Tim. "Here is this world-class choir that performs to national and international accolades - a Chorus with great history and heritage - and I didn't think the Chorus van was befitting the Tucson Boys Chorus." He and Louise began discussing ways they could help.

Months later, the idea became reality. With the Spears' help, a proposal submitted by the Tucson Boys Chorus to the Bess Spiva Timmons Foundation was approved, granting $15,000 toward the purchase of a van. The 15-passenger 2000 Ford van will replace the 1983 van as the primary transportation vehicle for the Chorus.

The Spears Family has had generational support of the Chorus. Tim and Louise's son, Cosmo, is a recent Touring chorister; Cosmo's grandfather, Dr. Joe Spears, was a member of the Board of Directors in the late 90's, and Bess Spiva Timmons, Cosmo's great grandmother, is a benefactor of the Chorus through the Bess Spiva Timmons Foundation. Through their various connections with the Chorus, the Spears family has helped to initiate many projects that have resulted in funding from the Foundation, including granting numerous scholarships, upgrading Chorus wardrobes, and purchasing choir chairs.

The Bess Spiva Timmons Family Foundation was established more than 40 years ago by Tim's grandmother, Bess Spiva Timmons. The Foundation was set up following the sale of a successful family-owned business that manufactured dynamite for excavating strip-mining pits in a burgeoning coal industry in Pittsburg, Kansas. When Bess sold the company to Dupont before the Depression, she set up a foundation to fund specific projects by non-profit organizations.

Bess Spiva Timmons was born in Galena, Kansas in 1901, and graduated from Monticello College in 1921. In 1923, she married L.K. Timmons and moved to Pittsburg, Kansas. "She was an amazing woman who had a passion for grassroots organizations," Tim.

Spears said. "She had a wide variety of interests, mainly centered on education and the environment." Bess Spiva Timmons passed away in 1986 and is remembered for her legacy of involvement in the Pittsburg community, as well as her generosity to non-profit organizations. The Foundation is directed by three generations of the family, with Tim serving as treasurer.

Tim and Louise became involved with the Chorus when their son joined the Chorus in 1996. "Cosmo was immediately fascinated with the varied repertoire of the Chorus," Tim said. According to Tim, Cosmo learned many different skills as a chorister, but most notable was "an awareness, presence and confidence that comes from the rigorous challenges of performing a diverse selection of music in so many venues."

"The maturity that he gained from the extensive travel and the responsibilities that come with that, shaped Cosmo into a very outstanding young man," Tim said. "We are so proud of our son's accomplishments as a member of the Touring Chorus."

In addition to his work with the Bess Spiva Timmons Foundation, Tim is owner of Aridise Productions, a web page and graphic design company. Louise is a rehabilitation counselor and case manager for Pima Health System. Tim hopes that Foundation support through scholarships and other project funding will allow more boys to participate in what he calls "one of the nation's finest children's music programs."

"The Boys Chorus program solidifies a deep appreciation and understanding of music," said Tim, who also has a music background. "To tell you the truth, with all the musical knowledge my son has learned through the Chorus, I'm a little jealous."

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